WELCOME to the “Hermon A. MacNeil” — Virtual Gallery & Museum !

~ This Gallery celebrates Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American sculptor of the Beaux Arts School. MacNeil led a generation of sculptors in capturing many fading Native American images and American history in the realism of this classic style. World's Fairs, statues, public monuments, coins, and buildings across to country. [Hot-links (on the lower right) lead to photos and info about these works by MacNeil. ]

~ 2016 marked the 150th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil's birth on February 27,

Take a Virtual Journey

This website seeks to transport you through miles and years with a few quick clicks of a mouse or keyboard or finger swipes on an iPad.

Perhaps you walk or drive by one of MacNeil's many sculptures daily. Here you can gain awareness of this artist and his works.

For over one hundred years his sculptures have graced our parks, boulevards, and parkways; buildings, memorials, and gardens; campuses, capitols, and civic centers; museums, coinage, and private collections.

Maybe there are some near you!

Archive for Alexander Stirling Calder

Image result for bernie at arch

Senator Bernie Sanders at the Washington Arch In NYC on April 13, 2016. MacNeil’s statue of Washington as Commander of the Continental stands to the right on the back of the Arch. [Photo: www.hultonarchive.com ]

NEW YORK CITY —

In Washington Square Park last evening, two marble figures of “George Washington” stood quietly in the dark amid rallying cries for political revolution in the November 2016 Elections.

Hermon MacNeil’s  statue of “General George Washington” and Alexander Stirling Calder’s Statue of “President Washington” have graced the back of the monument for nearly a century.  They immortalize two facets of an American giant who was no stranger to either revolution or politics.

The 124-year-old marble Washington Arch framed a white-haired Bernie Sanders as the Brooklyn-born senator railed on about how politics is “fixed” for the wealthiest 1% of Americans.  A reported 27,000 people packed the park on a brisk NYC evening.  The event in one of the largest rallies of this campaign.

Senator Sander’s familiar stump speech rang out loud and clear as  the Presidential candidate’s raspy-voice pierced the night air.  The enthusiasm of “Gotham City” night-life roared from the sign-waving crowd. The event seemed to open another chapter in the life of this historic gathering place of American celebration and demonstration.

Washington Square Park as Senator Sanders spoke.

The white marble mass of the Washington Arch towers over the scene of a packed crowd filled with electric energy.

Sanders 40 years of independent politics has sounded themes of “income inequality”, “health care rights”, “Wall Street power”, and “corporate greed”  to list a few. In recent months he has thundered his message to ever-widening audiences across the United States.

The rally last evening brought Sanders home to his Brooklyn roots and this historic place of American identity and protest.

Whether it brought him any closer to George Washington’s old job has yet to be determined.

Behind the scenes MacNeil's likeness of General Washington guarded the rear flanks of the rally

This daylight view of MacNeil’s General Washington Profiled with Valor guarded the rear flanks of the Arch. The statue was added to the monument in 1917 – 1918.

GWashingtonCalder 2001

“Washington as President” by Alexander Stirling Calder stands opposite the MacNeil statue. The statue was added to the monument in 1917 – 1918.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Washington Arch BEFORE 1812 with no statues in place.

The Washington Arch BEFORE 1812 with no statues in place.

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The face of the General shows marble worn through 97 years of exposure and harsh cleaning.

The face of the General shows marble worn through 97 years of exposure and harsh cleaning.

On this 281st anniversary of the birth of George Washington (Feb. 22, 1732), we visit Hermon MacNeil’s famous statue in Washington Square, NYC.  Photos here show it both today and in MacNeil’s original plaster model of 1915 from his College Point studio.  His model was located just this past year. (See photos below).

CLICK BELOW for The Washington Arch as New Yorkers and visitors stroll southward from Fifth Avenue into Washington Park.

http://forgotten-ny.com/2011/11/a-walk-on-waverly-place/37-arch/

CLICK BELOW for General George Washington ~ MacNeil’s patriot Commander of the Continental Army.

http://forgotten-ny.com/2011/11/a-walk-on-waverly-place/39-washington-3/

CLICK BELOW for President Washington ~ Alexander Stirling Calder’s rendition of the civilian “Mr. President”

http://forgotten-ny.com/2011/11/a-walk-on-waverly-place/38-washington-2/

BELOW is my photo of MacNeil’s original studio plaster model for the George Washington Statue.  It is about 3 1/2 feet tall. 

George Washington as Commander-in Chief by H.A. MacNeil

Original Plaster model for “George Washington as Commander-in Chief” by H.A. MacNeil

The actual statues on the Arch are 12 feet tall.  They were both carved by the Piccirilli Brothers.  To see a clay model for the piece CLICK BELOW  =>

http://www.lehman.edu/academics/arts-humanities/piccirilli/img44.php

The Picarrilli’s were a  famous family of stone-carvers and sculptors who made many of the great sculpture carvings of that period (early 20th century).

The Missouri Capitol burns after being struck by lightning the evening of Feb. 5, 1911, in Jefferson City. City firefighters, state penitentiary inmates and fire crews from Sedalia, Mo., who rushed by train to assist from more than 60 miles away, fought the blaze, but the building was a total loss. ¦ AP Photo/Missouri State Archives

Hermon A. MacNeil Commemorative by Artist C. Daughtrey is available at http://www.cdaughtrey.com/

Hermon A. MacNeil Commemorative portrait by Artist C. Daughtrey is available at http://www.cdaughtrey.com/

On February 5, 1911 lightning struck the Missouri Capitol in the evening.  Responders included local firefighters, state penitentiary inmates and even fire crews from as far as sixty miles away in Sedalia, Missouri. Many came by train to help.  But the building was a total loss.  The resulting fire had entirely destroyed the state’s historic building complex (see the ‘day after’ photo below)

After the public saw the devastating results of the fire, donations began to come in for restoration.  School children collected coins, the public sent gifts, and private funds contributes as well.  All helped to rebuild the the Jefferson City capitol with new sculptures and new art making it more spectacular that before.

Hermon A. MacNeil was one of the many famous American sculptors commissioned for sculptures and art for the new Missouri Capitol after the tragic fire.  Other renowned sculptors commissioned for work on the re-built state structure include: James Earl Fraser, Robert Aiken, Alexander A. Weinman, Karl Bitter, and Alexander Stirling C(see photo below)alder.

In this photo provided by the Missouri State Archives, people walk around the ruins of the Missouri Capitol on the day after. (AP Photo/Missouri State Archives) Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/multimedia/image_8158f625-1596-5d61-8c0a-b210ee48de6f.html#ixzz1s4tJIm8l

Allegorical frieze, Missouri Speeding the Western Pioneer by Hermon MacNeil.

Portion of the North Allegorical frieze, “Missouri, the Mother of the West,” Hermon MacNeil – Sculpted in 1924. Note the sculptor’s name appearing along bottom left corner. [ Photo Credit: SIRIS -Smithsonian Institute Research Information System. ]

Stay tuned for more on MacNeil’s work there in Jefferson City.

CLICK HERE FOR: Smithsonian Institute link to eight photos of this frieze

 

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Here are a few images of  Independence from Hermon Atkins MacNeil for this 237th Fourth of July Day in the United States of America.

1) From Vincennes, Indiana at the George Rogers Clark National Monument, Here is a hero of the American Revolution:

MacNeil’s “George Rogers Clark” in the rotunda of the National Monument in Vincennes, Indiana (Photo credit: Dan Leininger – webmaster)

The ranger at the monument commented on the proud dignity that MacNeil’s work conveys in the face and stance of this 26 year-old Virginia patriot, Col. George Rogers Clark. (Photo: Dan Leininger ~ webmaster)

On a recent visit to the monument, the National Park Ranger commented on the pride and confidence that Hermon MacNeil placed in his rendering of Clark’s gaze and pose for this sculpture.  Clark, a Virginia Militia officer, won the approval and support of Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, to conduct a daring attack on the British in the Western frontiers.  Clark crafted, trained, and commanded a special force of two hundred frontiersman, militia, and Kentucky sharpshooters.  Their loyalty to the cause and Clark’s strategy of surprise resulted in capture of the British fortifications on the Western frontiers along the Mississippi, Ohio and Wabash Rivers at Vincennes, IN; Cahokia, IL; Kaskaskia, IL  Enduring severe winter hardships, starvation, and sickness their monumental military achievement resulted in British withdrawal from the West and the surrender of territories east of the Mississippi in the Treaty of Paris in 1783. These are due in part to Clark’s Victories.  He was the oldest of a family of famous brothers.  In 1804 his brother William Clark, along with Meriwether Lewis, would explore the Louisiana Purchase west of the Mississippi for President Jefferson.

2. From New York City, Washington Square Arch. ~ “George Washington, Commander in Chief” by Hermon A. MacNeil.

1916 Photo of the installation of the MacNeil statue. Thia appears to have the statue sitting in the right hand leg of the Arch. The left leg is where it was permanently installed. Photo Credit: John Gomez, NYC.

 

General George Washington with Flags (U.S. and POW/MIA) ~ Washington Arch Greenwich, NYC (Photo courtesy of: Gibson Shell – 2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1916 the northeast statue pedestal received its Washington statue after being empty for over 20 years.

The other shelf of the Arch remained empty until 1918 when Alexander Stirling Calder’s “Washington as President” was installed.  The installation on the right is a bit confusing.  This photo was salvaged from a NYC flea market in June 2012 by John Gomez and used with his permission. John purchased this and other photos of interest to this MacNeil researcher and has graciously allowed their use by webmaster.  This ‘strange’ photo shows the MacNeil statue resting on the right-hand side of the Arch where the Calder statue would be placed two years later.  (The ladder, rope and pulleys suggest “Men at Work.”  Compare the 2012 photo to its left.)

For MacNeil this event took place the same year as the first issue of his sculpture for the U.S. Mint’s “Standing Liberty Quarter.”

For more on the Washington Arch: CLICK HERE

3. From Philadelphia, PA. “The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument.”  Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Jim Haas, author and College Point native, sent this Philadelphia shot of Hermon MacNeil’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. That is a rare shot of Jim himself, taken by Lynne, his director of public relations. : ) Jim is a Friend of HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com and a generous researcher for the website.  CLICK HERE for Jim’s Books

The second half of the American Revolution (the preservation of the Union) is commemorated in this pair of 60 foot monuments on either side of the parkway entrance.

The back of the monuments read:

~~ “ONE COUNTRY, ONE CONSTITUTION, ONE DESTINY” ~~

~~ “IN GIVING FREEDOM TO THE SLAVE,

WE ASSURE FREEDOM TO THE FREE.” ~~

HEAR & VIEW PHILADELPHIA’S PRIDE IN THIS MACNEIL ART AT:

CLICK HERE  and THEN run video by VIMEO.COM

 

FOR MORE INFO ON THESE MacNeil works see:

  1. DC Memorials – excellent photos ~ CLICK HERE
  2. Philadelphia Pride – “Soldiers & Sailors Monument” ~ by H. A. MacNeil (31.4)
  3. 75th Anniversary of the George Rogers Clark National Monument (9.2)
ROGER WILLIAMS bust by MacNeil at “Hall of Fame” in Bronx Comm. College ~ Photo Credit: Librado Romero/The New York Times ( http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/12/05/nyregion/05metjournal2_ready.html )

December 21st marks the Birthday of Roger Williams (theologian, teacher, preacher, linguist, pioneer, reformer, and spiritual seeker after God).

Hermon Atkins MacNeil’s bust sculpture of Roger Williams ( made in 1920) is only 91 years old, but the man himself was born 317 years earlier on December 21, 1603. (That is a lot of candles to have on a cake).

The sculpture of Williams is one of four that MacNeil made for the Hall.  His other subjects were: James Monroe, Francis Parker, and Rufus Choate.

Many of MacNeil’s contemporaries sculptors were commissioned for works at the colonnade: Daniel Chester French, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, A. Stirling Calder, James Earle Fraser, Frederick William MacMonnies, Lorado Taft, and Adolph WeimanThe Hall of Fame is also a virtual “Who’s Who” of American Sculptors.

Over one hundred sculptures line the 630 foot long open-air colonnade.  The NeoClassical arc walkway was designed in 1900 on the undergraduate campus of New York University, now Bronx Community College.

The Hall has not added any sculptures since 1975 but remains a stunning collection of American Renaissance art and history.  See the articles below for more on both Roger Williams and the Hall of Fame of Great Americans.

FOR MORE:

1895
Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American Sculptor (1866-1947)

MacNeil’s bronze of Blackpipe, a Sioux warrior he befriended in 1893 (source Smithsonian Archives)

December of 1895 was an exciting time in the life of Hermon A. MacNeil — A time when he was described as “the most happy young man I know.”

Chicago. In fact, 1985, in general, had been a productive year for the sculptor.  Following the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, times had been tough for both artists and Fair workers.   MacNeil had found Black Pipe, (the Sioux from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show), cold and hungry on the streets of Chicago.  He took him in as studio help and a model for future sculptures. 

Marquette.  During 1895, Hermon had completed the four bronze panels depicting the life of Fr. Jacques (Père) Marquette.  They were put in place over the four entry doors of the Marquette Building (CLICK HERE) where he and his artist friend, Charles F. Browne, shared a studio. 


Panel 4 – “The de Profundis was intoned ..

According to information from the MacArthur Foundation (current owner and curator of the Marquette Building), Amy Aldis Bradley wrote in 1895 to Peter Brooks:

After commissioning MacNeil for the exterior bronzes, Aldis wrote to Peter Brooks, “McNeil’s [sic] panels are being placed in position. It is greatly to their and his credit that these bas-reliefs have won for him the Roman [Reinhart] Fellowship. The Commission, choosing him as the best of the very young men…The young sculptor was married on Christmas Day, and sailed for Rome on Wednesday, and is, on the whole, the most happy young man I know. He is very grateful to the owners of the Marquette Building.” (http://marquette.macfound.org/slide/herman-macneil/ )

 Rinehart Prize. In December,  he received news that he had been named as recipient of the Rinehart Roman Scholarship for study in Rome.  Newspapers such as the Nov. 25, 1895 Chicago Tribune (CLICK HERE), and the Dec. 22, 1895 -New York Sun, (CLICK HERE) (columns 5 & 6), contained the news of the selection of this 29 year-old western artist to receive the Prix Rome.

H.A.MacNeil ~1895 sketch - Chicago-Sun
H.A.MacNeil ~1895 sketch – The Sun (New York City)

The sculptors on the committee that selected MacNeil for the  award were the ‘giants’ among American sculptors of the 19th century. As mentioned in the above newspapers, the Rinehart Roman committee included Augustus Saint Gaudens, John Quincy Adams Ward, and Daniel Chester French

These famous sculptors were in the prime of their careers.  Saint Gaudens, at 47, had been the sculptural advisor for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  One tradition suggests that MacNeil asked Saint Gaudens for a letter of reference to Phillip Martiny that got him work on the  that Exposition in  1893. John Quincy Adams Ward, at age 65 was the ‘grandfather’ of American sculptors, and the founder as well as standing president of the National Sculpture Society. Daniel Chester French, age 45, was also a founding member of the National Sculpture Society, and sculpted the colossal sixty-foot golden “Republic” centerpiece statue for the Chicago Fair. ( A thirty foot tall miniature golden replica of which still graces Jackson Park in Chicago today.)

Marriage:

On Christmas Day 1895, in Chicago, he married Carol Louise Brooks, also a sculptor. Earlier MacNeil was informed that he had won the Rinehart Roman Scholarship. Following their wedding, the pair left for Rome, passing three years there (1896-1899) and eventually spend a fourth year in Paris where their first son, Claude, was born.  During those years they study together under the same masters and  live on the shared income of Hermon’s Rinehart Scholarship.  (Carol  had also studied sculpture with both Lorado Taft and Frederick William MacMonnies and been a member of “The White Rabbits” ~ a self christened group of women sculptors called in to complete the massive work load of ‘staff’ statues needed for the Chicago Fair in 1893. )

Future:

Other events from 1895 would later unfold into sculpture-opportunities for Hermon MacNeil. In May in Greenwich Village, New York City, Stanford White, with assistance from both Frederick MacMonnies and Phillip Martiny, completed a permanent Washington Arch. 

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1895 photo of Empty pedestals on the new Washington Arch with New Yorkers strolling into the popular park.  The skyline includes Judson Memorial Church tower to the right of the Arch.  NYC Citizens would wait more than twenty years before the MacNeil and Calder tributes to George Washington as Commander-in-Chief and as President would be commissioned and put in place in 1916 and 1918. (Photo credit: NYC -Architecture.com: ~  http://nyc-architecture.com/GV/GV046WashingtonSquareArch.htm)

The first one, made in 1889 of paper and wood, commemorated the centennial of  the inauguration of  George Washington.  Received with great popularity, the citizens of NYC demanded a permanent Arch monument for their first President.  White’s design was dedicated on May 4, 1895 with two empty pedestals, meant for statues of Washington.  These niches on the north face of the monument remained empty for almost two decades before MacNeil’s statue of Washington as Commander-in-Chief would fill one pedestal (east side, in 1916), and Alexander Stirling Calder’s statue of Washington as Statesman would fill the other (west side, in 1918).

WHAT YOU FIND HERE.

Nearby or far away, there is no ONE place to go and appreciate this wide range of art pieces. Located in cities from east to west coast, found indoors and out, public and hidden, these creations point us toward the history and values in which our lives as Americans have taken root.

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