Hermon Atkins MacNeil was born in 1866 in Chelsea, Mass. He studied in both Rome and Paris, and gained prominence in the United States by doing large-scale sculpture.
He is credited with many major works, including statues in all five boroughs of New York. Notably, MacNeil designed the figure of George Washington as commander in chief on the arch in Washington Square. He also designed numerous coins, including the Standing Liberty quarter, minted from 1916 to 1930.
He was the first American to receive the Prix de Rome. He died in 1947.