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  • HERMON ATKINS MACNEIL: RESEARCH, AUTHENTICATION, & THE DISCOVERY OF A LOST MASTERPIECE

    Hermon Atkins MacNeil, The Sun Vow, BronzeSculptor Hermon Atkins MacNeil (American, 1866-1947) is known for his classically-inspired renderings of Native American subjects, and his seminal bronze The Sun Vow was awarded a silver medal at the Paris Exposition of 1900. Examples of The Sun Vow, completed as part of MacNeil’s Rinehart Scholarship at the American Academy in Rome, are included in the permanent collections of major art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2011, MIR Appraisal successfully facilitated the authentication of a version of this same sculpture through a careful review of the sculpture’s provenance, consultation with experts, and additional research. To read the full story, please click here.


    ADRIEN-JEAN LE MAYEUR: THE POWER OF CONSERVATION

    PostRestoration - CopyAfter serving as an army painter during World War I, Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur (Belgian, 1880-1958) embarked upon a search for an island utopia and eventually immigrated to Bali in 1932. The artist’s lush, sensual Balinese figures and vibrant, painterly style were popular with tourists, who flocked to his studio to purchase his paintings. Le Mayeur’s works are featured in public and private collections worldwide, and his paintings have achieved international acclaim. In 2011, MIR Appraisal inspected a painting that was covered in substantial layers of dirt and grime. Post-conservation, MIR’s team was able to uncover the artist’s signature, and through careful and thorough research we were able to attribute the work to Le Mayeur. For more information, please visit our blog.


    PAUL REVERE & 12 SILVER SPOONS

    Although perhaps best known for his “midnight ride” across Massachusetts in 1775, Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere, Jr. (American, 1734-1818) was also a respected silversmith in 18th century Boston. Historical accounts suggest that Revere was well-regarded both within the merchant community and among his distinguished clientele. Today, examples of Revere’s work are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, among others. In the late 1990s, MIR Appraisal had the good fortune to examine and research a set of 12 silver spoons that were ultimately attributed to Revere’s studio. Confirmation of the set’s authenticity also lent the spoons considerable historical value, in addition to the set’s value as a precious metal. To learn more, please visit our blog.


    PRINT OR PAINTING? UNCOVERING A LOST BELGIAN MASTERPIECE

    In 2001, MIR Appraisal received an inquiry from a local Chicago clergy member who had discovered an artwork in a church storage space. The client believed that the work in question was simply a reproduction print, but felt compelled to get a second opinion before disposing of the work. Upon inspection, MIR’s senior appraiser examined the artwork and determined that it was an original oil painting, which was covered in layers of dirt and grime. The client chose to move forward with conservation services to treat the painting’s deteriorating condition, and after a thorough cleaning the artist’s signature became visible. The painting was ultimately attributed to Belgian genre painter Gerard Portielje (1856-1929), and the authenticity was confirmed by Donald Portielje, a descendant of the artist. For the full story, please visit our blog.