Hermon Atkins MacNeil
Hermon Atkins MacNeil was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in 1866. He began his art career with training at the State Normal School in Boston. After graduation, he taught modeling at Cornell University for three years. Deciding to follow the path of many of his contemporaries, MacNeil left for Paris in 1888. There he studied at both the Académie Julian under Henri Michel Chapu and the École des Beaux-Arts under Jean Alexandre Joseph Falguière.
In 1891, he returned to the U.S., and in Chicago he helped Philip Masting with the World's Columbian exposition. MacNeil was deeply concerned with the creation of a truly national art. During his time in Chicago, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show was in town, and he drew sketches of the Indians there which he used throughout his career. MacNeil rejected the view of Indians as simple and childlike and portrayed them with dignity. He struggled for three years in Chicago, during which time he taught at the Chicago Art Institute. He received a commission to do several reliefs for the Marquette Building depicting the missionary Marquette with Indians. This commission was particularly instrumental in launching his career. His hard work in Chicago paid off when he received the prestigious Rinehart scholarship to Rome for from 1896 until 1900.
MacNeil gained a great reputation internationally while in Rome for his portrayals of Indians, receiving many awards for his bronzes. Upon his return to the United States, he received many commissions and even more awards. After 1910, he stopped sculpting Indians as he received more commissions for memorials, such as one of Ezra Cornell for the campus of Cornell University and another of President McKinley for placement in Columbus, Ohio. He died in 1947 at his home on Long Island Sound.
Actively seeking works by Hermon Atkins MacNeil.