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

~ This Gallery celebrates Hermon Atkins MacNeil of the Beaux Arts School, an American classic sculptor of Native images and American history:  ~ World’s Fairs, statues, monuments, coins, and more… ~ Hot-links ( lower right) lead to works by Hermon Atkins MacNeil.   ~ Over 300 stories in 50 pages & thousands of photos form this virtual MacNeil Gallery stretching from New York to New Mexico ~ Oregon to S. Carolina.   ~ 2016 marked the 150th Anniversary of Hermon MacNeil’s birth. ~~Do you WALK or DRIVE by MacNeil sculptures DAILY!  ~ CHECK OUT Uncle Hermon’s works here!

Daniel Neil Leininger, webmaster

DO YOU walk by MacNeil Statues and NOT KNOW IT ???

Archive for Chicago Worlds Fair

After the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, MacNeil had a studio in the Marquette Building.  Black Pipe modeled and helped him there.  Hermon said that BLACK PIPE …

…  stayed with me in all for a year and a half, helping me with odd jobs about the studio.

MacNeil Comments on

Black Pipe: 29 years after …

in an interview with J. W. McSpadden in 1922

MACNEIL: “Yes, and you may find it an interesting yarn. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show had been in Chicago during the Fair, and one of his braves was Black Pipe, a Sioux, a fine-looking fellow. He had stayed behind, and one day I met him on the streets, looking hungry and cold, and asked him if he wanted something to do. He did there was no doubt about that. I took him into the studio, fed him up, and then set to work modeling his head. I finished it in four hours, for I was not sure that I would ever see my Indian again; but he stayed with me in all for a year and a half, helping me with odd jobs about the studio. That’s his head there.”

It was a life-size bronze, which he indicated, not done in full relief but resting on a plaque a strong piece of portraiture.

Black Pipe later became the model for “Primitive Indian Music,” also known as “The Primitive Chant” and “The Primitive Chant to the Great Spirit.”

As posted last Month on October 8, 2023, Black Pipe was a model for multiple statues and reliefs. 

Because Black Pipe was among “white folks” long enough to not be superstitious about being photographed and modeled in clay, he became a studio helper, model, and regular for over a year.

‘The Primitive Chant” … is one of my best-known Indian subjects.” MacNeil

Black Pipe became the model for “Primitive Indian Music,” also known as “The Primitive Chant,” and the “The Primitive Chant to the Great Spirit.”

This is the spirited figure of a naked savage dancing to the music of his own flute. It has been widely copied in art prints.

Source: Joseph Walker McSpadden, Famous Sculptors of America, (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1924) pp. 311-12

In reviewing “The Primitive Chant to the Great Spirit,” Lorado Taft praised MacNeil’ sculptural work and composition YET CRITICIZED how a warrior chanting into his elbow could be called “MUSIC ?”  MACNEIL, by contract knew that Native American dances, such as  “The Prayer for Rain” of the Hopi’s or the “Moque Runner” were acts of devotion to the Creator Spirit.

MacNeil’s exposure to the life of Native Tribes appreciated their AWE, WONDER, and WORSHIP embedded in such Ritual Actions.

See Taft’s critique from this April 25, 2012 posting:

Part 1: “The Primitive Chant to the Great Spirit” Hermon A. MacNeil~Sculptor of the American West

Related posts:

  1. BLACK PIPE ~~ MacNeil’s 1894 Roundel ~~ Only 2 Exist (18.6) This website has found the ONLY TWO BLACK PIPE Roundels…
  2. 123 Year old Bas Relief of “Black Pipe The Sioux at Six Teen Years” has been reported to www.HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com (16.6) 2017 BLACK PIPE in 14 stories    A never before seen or…
  3. MORE on BLACK PIPE #2 ~ How The SIOUX Brave returned to South Dakota. (14.5) I RECEIVED AN EMAIL on September 24, 2023 FROM: Kevin…
  4. BLACK PIPE, the SIOUX, Returns to South Dakota on “Native American Day” ~ ~ (12.3) 2023 After 130 years, Black Pipe, the Sioux, has returned…
  5. 2016 ~ A Double Anniversary Year for Hermon Atkins MacNeil (8.9) 1886-2016 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Hermon A. MacNeil…
  6. Hermon MacNeil Supported Black Sculptor: Augusta Savage: ~ 1923 ~~ Part #1 (8.6) MacNeil wrote a letter in 1923 advocating for Miss Augusta…

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I RECEIVED AN EMAIL on September 24, 2023 FROM:

Kevin James Kirby in California

Dear Mr. Leininger, 

Greetings from California. I would like to thank you for your excellent website on the artist Hermon A. MacNeil. I found the information therein both interesting and helpful.


That said, the real reason why I am writing is to alert you to the fact that I am about to sell a

very rare 1894 bronze sculpture of

Black Pipe.

It is only the second presently known to be in existence
(the other being well documented

on your website).

To this, I replied the next morning that I was VERY interested in purchasing this rare MacNeil piece.

Later I received a response from Kevin:

Good morning Mr. Leininger,

Thank you for your reply. And how fortuitous that Black Pipe is so present in your thoughts!

My wife (PhD in art history ) and I (Bachelor of Science in sculpture) are both keen enthusiasts of art and history.

We have read almost all the associated literature, and have discussed this piece with various academics and institutions.

Indeed, Black Pipe’s is an incredible origin story — as is MacNeil’s.



As part of our private research, I have also been in direct contact with the

Lakota Sioux Nation at Standing Rock.

I was lucky enough to visit the Reservation in 2020,

and inquire directly about Black Pipe.

There I met an elder who remembered hearing about Black Pipe, who apparently was a member of the Rosebud Reservation, just south of Standing Rock.

However, unfortunately, the timing of the pandemic
necessitated the closure of the reservations, and

prevented further research;

and I have been unable to return since.

Needless to say, the story embodied within

this sculpture is  close to my heart!

And it is not lightly that I let go this artwork to a new owner. 

However, as our private collection grows, it moves in new directions…


Kevin packed up this


BLACKPIPE THE SIOUX: Carefully packed by Kevin Kirby and ready for shipment to SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota.


NOW … MACNEIL’s 1st bronze ~ BLACKPIPE ~

rests proudly Between a mini



and a mini of Jo Davidson’s FDR

With Jo Davidson’s “unique bronze bust”

of his first studio teacher


looking on from the other side.



BLACK PIPE (1894) and PONY EXPRESS (1940)

ARE MACNEIL’S alpha & omega

of bronze works …

They are side by side now.


James Kirby comments:

Wonderful to see Black Pipe

“in pride of place”

(as my British wife says)

properly ensconced in your

impressive collection!

Thank you for sharing these photos with us.

ALL very happy!




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This website has found the


Roundels in existence.

BLACK PIPE #1 – Found by this website in 2017 Made in 1894

BLACK PIPE #2 – Found by this website in 2022Made in 1894












THE EAST COAST (Massachusetts);


THE WEST COAST (California)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Below is the 2017 Story of Discovering


123 Year old Bas Relief of “Black Pipe The Sioux at Six Teen Years” has been reported to www.HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com

The next post tells the 2022 Story of

The Discovery of


⇓  ⇓  ⇓  ⇓  ⇓  ⇓ 

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After 130 years, Black Pipe, the Sioux, has returned to South Dakota, on “Native American Day” ~ ~ now “Indigenous Peoples Day.”

“BLACK PIPE, THE SIOUX, AT SIX TEEN YEARS.” These words are what MacNeil wrote on this bronze roundlette, a bas-relief, circa 1894.

This piece, one of only two known to exist,  [CLICK HERE for the other]

dates to 1894 and was possibly cast in bronze by its sculptor:

    Hermon MacNeil

     Now it resides in


       at the home of the webmaster.


Hermon MacNeil’s BLACK PIPE work was a product of lean days.  Following the closing of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, both artists and Fair workers had tough times.   In 1894, Hermon found himself “stranded” in Chicago. 

For a while, he earned meals in exchange for drawing sketches of patrons in a Chicago restaurant.  (He learned that livelihood while traveling  through France years before). Eventually, his prospects would begin to improve. 

Fifty years later after a lifetime of sculpting, remembering that era of his life, he wrote:

“I finished my work at the “Chicago Fair” and it (The Fair) was a great success.  The best combination of buildings in the then prevalent classic style, ever put together for any Fair.

I took a small studio in Chicago and tried to see if I could make a go of it.  C. F. Browne was also stranded there and I invited him to share the studio with me.  During that year (evenings) I was asked to teach sculpture and drawing in the School of the Art Institute and also had the good fortune to have four bas-reliefs to do illustrating the life of Pere Marquette.”   [Autobiographical Sketch, Hermon Atkins MacNeil, June 1943, page 5.]

The Indian had caught Hermon’s fancy.  Beginning with Buffalo Bill Cody’s “Wild West Show” just outside the gate of the Chicago Fair, MacNeil saw Cody’s dramatic spectacle many times.  He always carried a sketch book and drew whatever he saw. 

Black Pipe later became the model for Primitive Indian Music.


One day walking down Adams Street, Hermon recognized a really long haired Indian looking down and out walking along the sidewalk.  He looked hungry and cold.  Hermon had sketched many Indians while attending Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. 

“So I stopped and chatted with him and found he was stranded.”  Mac brought him to the studio, warmed him, fed him and began modeling him.  In four hours, MacNeil had made a full head profile relief, and titled it Black Pipe, the Sioux at Six Teen Years.

 Like many other artists of the time, Hermon sculpted what he saw.  This Indian had indeed “caught his fancy.” 


Chicago. In fact, 1985, in general, had been a productive year for the sculptor. 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.   That vision of Black Pipe remained in Hermon’s artistic memory and appeared again many times.

For October 2023,


will be the featured theme of

upcoming posts


Related Posts:

  1. The “Apache Papoose” an early Native American study by Hermon MacNeil (10.811)

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Recently, I procured a plaster casting  by




The work was a very early study dating back to the 1890’s.

The image re-appears as part of a larger sculpture entitled

‘Mother and











A bronze  casting of that later work was listed by


They state that:

According to the Roman Bronze Works ledger, Only two casts of Mother and Papoose were ever done, both—#1 and #2 on the same day: November 9, 1906. No other casts are known.  (Source: https://www.bartfield.com/  retrieved on 1-25-22)

This detail of the bronze ‘Mother & Papoose’ shows the similarity of the plaster model of 1894 and the bronze casting of 1906.


Of the Papoose model, MacNeil scholar and College Point author, James Haas, wrote the following:

“In the summer of 1895 [when MacNeil traveled in the Four Corners area] he modeled two dozen Indian-themed pieces. His subjects were Utes, Navajo, Acoma and Moqui Indians from which sprang his most famous work, Moqui Prayer for Rain.” Mother and Papoose appears to have been modeled by MacNeil while he was on this trip.

1892 0r 1894

Whether the Papoose plaster was made in 1892 or 1894 is in disagreement.   James Haas suggests the later date.

The Papoose is dated in Roman Numerals.  At first glance they could be read as:


But there is an additional “I” at the end of the hand engraved date on the crown of the papoose.  It could appear to be the other side of a letter ‘V’ which would offer an alternative reading of the Roman Numeral date as:


which changes the last digit to reads out as a 4 (IV) rather than a 2 (II).

The ‘1894’ reading of the date fits better into the known timeline of MacNeil’s life after the ending of the Chicago Worlds Fair — Worlds Columbian Exposition in 1893.

1892 Papoose by Hermon Atkins MacNeil




Hermon Atkins MacNeil (1866-1947)

According to the Roman Bronze Works ledger, Only two casts of Mother and Papoose were ever done, both—#1 and #2 on the same day: November 9, 1906. No other casts are known. Of the model, MacNeil scholar, James Haas, wrote the following, “In the summer of 1895 [when MacNeil traveled in the Four Corners area] he modeled two dozen Indian-themed pieces. His subjects were Utes, Navajo, Acoma and Moqui Indians from which sprang his most famous work, Moqui Prayer for Rain.” Mother and Papoose appears to have been modeled by MacNeil while he was on this trip. A Massachusetts native, Hermon Atkins MacNeil studied in Boston, New York, and Paris before being asked to work on the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1891. While there, MacNeil saw Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and was inspired to take his classical training to the American West. MacNeil’s bronzes of Native Americans, perhaps more than those of any other sculptor, portray majesty while preserving the individuality of the subject. The spirituality Macneil’s First Americans convey is expressed through lightness and solidity rather than other worldliness.

Hermon Atkins MacNeil

Mother and Papoose

Roman Bronze Works N.Y.

Cast N.1

16 1/2  inches high



  1. J. N. BARTFIELD GALLERIES: AMERICAN, WESTERN & SPORTING ART.  Retrieved from  https://www.bartfield.com/   [On 1-25-22]

Related posts:

  1. Hermon MacNeil at the 1893 Columbian Exposition ~ ~ ~ THE CHICAGO YEARS ~ ~ (3) CHICAGO YEARS:  Partners and Colleagues When Hermon MacNeil came home to the…
  2. 123 Year old Bas Relief of “Black Pipe The Sioux at Six Teen Years” has been reported to www.HermonAtkinsMacNeil.com (3) BLACK PIPE in 14 stories    A never before seen or documented…
  3. MacNeil-Brooks Wedding Reception – Christmas Day 1895 (3) One Hundred and twenty-three years (123) ago, Hermon Atkins MacNeil…
  4. Charles Francis Browne … MacNeil … Garland ~ Part Two (3) A recent post of Aug 13, 2021, highlighted a hidden…
  5. “Chicago Sculpture in the Loop” features Hermon A. MacNeil’s Work at Marquette Building (2) Gregory H. Jenkins has posted stories of the Marquette Bronze…
  6. ~ ~ ~ “The Most Happy Young Man I Know” ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Hermon A. MacNeil ~ Success & Marriage! (2) 1895 Hermon Atkins MacNeil, American Sculptor (1866-1947) MacNeil’s bronze of…

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A recent post of Aug 13, 2021, highlighted a hidden bust of C. F. Browne, an early friend of Hermon A. MacNeil:

MacNeil’s bust of friend Charles Francis Browne – 1994

A 1894 Sculpture of Charles F. Browne ~ ~ ~ by Hermon A. MacNeil.” =>

Out of public view, deep in the archives of the Chicago Art Institute rests a 127 year old bust of Charles F. Browne,  American artist.

Of all the thousands of talented artists, craftsmen, and sculptors building the “White City”  in 1892, three gifted young men  would travel in 1895 by train and horseback to the NEW American “West.”  They would share life-forming experiences, there in the “Four Corners” area where Colorado meets New Mexico meets Arizona meets Utah.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



    ~ Charles Francis Browne ~

            ~ Hermon Atkins MacNeil  ~

                      ~ Hannibal Hamlin Garland ~

Charles Francis Brown, at 33, was the oldest of the three.  

For a decade he searched to discover and develop his talents.  At the Chicago World’s Fair he began by painting murals in the Children’s Building. 

Charles was born in Massachusetts to parents with a long history in New England.  His father was a builder and contractor.  Charles had three siblings.  The oldest became a headmaster; a sister died in childhood; and his younger brother a foreman in a watch factory.

In his second year of high school, Charles became sickly. For two more years he was treated for appendicitis (then called “inflammation of the bowels”). He never returned to school, but instead worked ill-suited as a clerk in a hat store.  Eventually he started design work for a lithograph company. 

The artistic environment and peers led him to evening classes at Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  He worked in stained glass (to please his practical father).  Working days with lithographs  and studying nights at art school, he developed many visual skills. But entry into the Art School required passing rigorous exams in human anatomy.  For which he was unprepared.

So in 1885, at the age of twenty-five he moved to Pennsylvania and enrolled in the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts — working full time under realist painter Thomas Eakins.

Charles Francis Browne

Nai-U-Chi Chief of the Bow, Zuni. 1895 by C.F. Browne – Sid Richardson Museum – Retieved at https://www.illinoisart.org/charles-francis-browne. October 30, 2021.

Completing three years of study there, he went to Paris to study with renowned figural painter Jean-Léon Gérôme. His sojourns in the French countryside, inspired many paintings of landscapes in both oils and watercolors. Returning to the U.S. in 1891, he taught briefly at Beloit College  before moving south to Chicago.

The Children’s Building at the World’s Columbian Exposition became the next canvas of his murals.  Browne’s work became the walls of the building.  After the Fair, his skills were sought as an instructor at the rapidly growing Art Institute of Chicago.  MacNeil and Garland were part of the vast community of artists assembled in Jackson Park — home to the exhibition.

Page [unnumbered] of Volume InformationHis trip in 1895 with sculptor Hermon Atkins MacNeil to the Southwest yielded subjects for his portraits of American Indian and figural scenes.

Later, 1897 he founded the journal Brush and Pencil, of which he served as editor until 1900.  He produced hundreds of paintings in his career ahead.

Lorado Taft, provided a moving tribute to Browne at close of a fine life and career:

“No one among us has contributed more abundantly of his time to the service of the community… All of this activity combined with earnest, unremitting and valuable aid… would seem to be enough for one man. But… Mr. Browne, the citizen, has ever been first and foremost an artist. Never have we known a man more in love with nature… When one thinks of the joy that he has been able to record and to carry over to other hearts… it seems as though the most enviable of all estates is to be a landscape painter – a landscape painter like Charles Francis Browne!”  CREDIT: https://www.illinoisart.org/charles-francis-browne



Hermon A.MacNeil 

Hermon was seven years younger than Browne.  Their friendship is documented by the fact that MacNeil invited Browne to share his studio, persuaded him to pose for the bust, and traveled to the Four Corners with Garland as guide. 

MacNeil, with the recommendation of Augustus Saint Gaudens, went from New York to the Chicago World’s Fair to work under Philip Martiny, who was sculpting the Electricity Building.  After proving himself on the edifice spandrels and ornamentals, he was assigned “two statuary figures” on the upper structure.  The Electricity Building’s main entrance was dominated by an  imposing statue of Benjamin Franklin.    Inside were housed the Tower of Light, displays by Western Electric, General Electric, American Bell Telephone, Edison’s latest phonographs and hundreds of other electrical exhibits from around he world.  The exhibit was truly a celebration of the “modern” era of “Electricity.”

In 1894  after the Fair, Hermon modeled, completed, and cast the bronze bust of of Browne.  Their trip together in 1895 inspired a decade of sculpting Native American images.  Four decades of memorials, monuments, statues, building pediments and facades, coins, medallions, followed from his College Point Studio.

The “Prayer for Rain” depicts the Moqui (Hopi) runner carrying the snakes to the river to activate the rain cycle of nature.

SILVER -One of only 20 minted ~ SOM.#3 – 1931 Hopi Prayer for Rain 1931

In 1931, Hermon MacNeil would again memorialize that Four Corners trip in his design for the Society of Medalists — Third IssueNearly four decades later that inspiration would return afresh in the “Hopi Runner” — “Prayer for Rain”


Hamlin Garland

Garland, the leader of the adventure, was 31 years-old when he led his two friends on their tour to the west.  His story and exploits have been told in many other postings on this website:

Hamlin Garland: Story in 3 Parts  by Dan Leininger, webmaster

PART 1 – “Hamlin Garland ~ MacNeil’s Guide”  MacNeil and Hamlin Garland

PART 2 – The Garland Homestead in Wisconsin ~ A Hamlin Garland Memorial

PART 3 – Hermon MacNeil and Hamlin Garland ~ Connections Through the Years

Hamlin Garland was an accomplished novelist

Main-Travelled Roads was his first major success. It was a collection of short stories inspired by his days on the farm. He serialized a biography of Ulysses S. Grant in McClure’s Magazine before publishing it as a book in 1898. The same year, Garland traveled to the Yukon to witness the Klondike Gold Rush, which inspired The Trail of the Gold Seekers (1899). He lived on a farm between Osage, and St. Ansgar, Iowa for quite some time. Many of his writings are based on this era of his life.

By the time of the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893,[7] Hamlin moved to Chicago, where he lived at 6427 South Greenwood Avenue in the Woodlawn neighborhood. He is considered “a significant figure in the Chicago Literary Movement” and “one of Chicago’s most important authors”.[8] Moccasin Ranch Park, located near address, is named in his honor.[8]

“Sell the cook the stove if necessary and come. You must see the fair”
-Novelist Hamlin Garland to his parents in 1893-

In Illinois, Garland married Zulime Taft, the sister of sculptor Lorado Taft, and began working as a teacher and a lecturer.[9]

A prolific writer, Garland continued to publish novels, short fiction, and essays. In 1917, he published his autobiography, A Son of the Middle Border. The book’s success prompted a sequel, A Daughter of the Middle Border, for which Garland won the 1922 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. After two more volumes, Garland began a second series of memoirs based on his diary. Garland naturally became quite well known during his lifetime and had many friends in literary circles.[10] He was made a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1918.[4]  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlin_Garland)



  1. Wendy Greenhouse, PhD.  “Charles Francis Browne  1859–1920″. M. Christine Schwartz Collection (https://schwartzcollection.com/artist/charles-francis-browne/  )  retrieved September 20, 2021.  This extensive biographical summary of the life of Charles Francis Browne is the most extensive and detailed documentary piece posted of his life and career.
  2. Melissa Wolfe Ph.D. and Joel S. Dryer © Illinois Historical Art Project.  “Charles Francis Browne (1859-1920).”   https://www.illinoisart.org/charles-francis-browne.  retrieved September 21, 2021.


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Here is ONE place to go to see sculpture of Hermon A. MacNeil & his students. Located in cities from east to west coast, found indoors and out, public and private, these creations point us toward the history and values that root Americans.

Daniel Neil Leininger ~ HAMacNeil@gmail.com
Hosting & Tech Support: Leiturgia Communications, Inc.           WATCH US GROW


1. Take digital photos of the work from all angles, including setting.
2. Take close up photos of details that you like
3. Look for MacNeil’s signature. Photograph it too! See examples above.
4. Please, include a photo of you & others beside the work.
5. Tell your story of adventure. It adds personal interest.
6. Send photos to ~ Webmaster at: HAMacNeil@gmail.com