1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/MacMonnies, Frederick William

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4213391911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 17 — MacMonnies, Frederick William

MACMONNIES, FREDERICK WILLIAM (1863–), American sculptor and painter, was born at Brooklyn, New York, on the 20th of September 1863. His mother was a niece of Benjamin West. At the age of sixteen MacMonnies was received as an apprentice in the studio of Augustus St Gaudens, the sculptor, where he remained for five years. In 1884 he went to Paris and thence to Munich, where he painted for some months. Returning to Paris next year he became the most prominent pupil of Falguière. His “Diana” brought him a mention at the Salon of 1889. Three life-sized figures of angels for the church of St Paul, New York, were followed by his “Nathan Hale,” in the City Hall Park, New York, and a portrait of James S. T. Stranahan, for Brooklyn. This last brought him a “second medal” in the Salon of 1891, the first time an American sculptor had been so honoured. In 1893 he was chosen to design and carry out the Columbian Fountain for the Chicago World’s Fair, which placed him instantly in the front rank. His largest work is a decoration for the Memorial Arch to Soldiers and Sailors, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, consisting of three enormous groups in bronze. In Prospect Park, Brooklyn, MacMonnies has also a large “Horse Tamer,” a work of much distinction. A “Winged Victory” at the U.S. military academy at West Point, New York, is of importance; and his “Bacchante,” an extraordinary combination of realism and imagination, rejected by the Boston Public Library, is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He also became well known as a painter, mainly of portraits. In 1888 he married Mary Fairchild, a figure painter of distinction, but in 1909 they were divorced and she married Will H. Low.