Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Macmonnies, Frederick

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MACMONNIES, Frederick, sculptor, b. in Brooklyn, 20 Sept., 1863. He was admitted to the studio of Augustus St. Gaudens in 1880, and worked four years, studying at night in the life classes of the Academy of design and the Art students' league. In 1884 he went to Paris, but an outbreak of the cholera drove him thence to Munich, where he spent a few months in the painting-school. He returned to France after a walking trip among the Alps, but was soon recalled to New York. After a year in the studio of St. Gaudens he returned again to Paris, where he entered the atelier Falguière in the École des beaux-arts, spending part of his time also in the private studio of Antonin Mercié. For two successive years he received the prix d'atelier, the highest prize open to foreigners, which ranks next to the prix de Rome. He then left the school and established his own studio, still giving part of his time to work with Mercié. His first figure was a Diana, exhibited in the Salon of 1889, for which he received honorable mention. His success was now certain, and after this followed his three life-size bronze angels for St. Paul's church, New York city, his statues of Nathan Hale for City-hall park, and of James Samuel Thomas Stranahan for Prospect park, Brooklyn. Both of the last two statues were exhibited in the Salon of 1891, and for the Stranahan the sculptor received a second medal, the first and only American so to be honored. The great fountain executed by him for the Columbian exposition at Chicago in 1893 was one of the artistic features of that exposition that remains in the memory of all that saw it. In 1894 he produced his “Bacchante,” designed for the fountain in the court of the Boston public library; the French government ordered a replica for the Luxembourg. Among his other works may be mentioned the statue of Sir Harry Vane in the Boston public library, the army and navy groups for the soldiers' and sailors' monument at Indianapolis, the pediments on the Bowery savings bank. New York city, the central pair of bronze doors and the statue of Shakespeare for the Library of congress, and the figure of Victory for the battle monument unveiled at West Point in 1897. In 1896 he received the decoration of the Legion of honor from the French government.