Hermon A. MacNeil (1866-1947)
Hermon MacNeil was an American Sculptor best known for designing the Standing Liberty quarter, and for sculpting Justice, the Guardian of Liberty, on the East pediment of the United States Supreme Court building.
MacNeil graduated from Massachusetts Normal Art School, now Massachusetts College of Art and Design, in 1886. He then became an instructor in industrial art at Cornell University from 1886 to 1889, and was later a pupil of Henri M. Chapu and Alexandre Falguière in Paris.
In 1902 MacNeil was commissioned by the family of David P. Thompson of Portland, Oregon, to create a bronze commemorative memorial as Thompson’s gift to the city. Titled “The Coming of the White Man,” MacNeil created two members of the Multnomah (Chinook) tribe of the Pacific Northwest, MacNeil grouped a standing chief and a crouching medicine man on a boulder-shaped pedestal, overlooking the Columbia River. The figure is posed with great dignity, arms folded across his chest and chin raised proudly.
The Solitary Chief (also known as “A Chief of the Multnomah Tribe”) is 8 of 12 from a posthumous limited casting by Modern Art Foundry of Long Island City, NY. This statue bears the original cast signature of the artist, the original cast date of 1904, the foundry stamp and the edition number.