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Hildreth Meiere (1892 New York Citymarker – 1961), American artist, architectural artist, muralist and mosaicist.

Biography

After studying at New York's Convent of the Sacred Heart, Meiere studied in Florencemarker. Being exposed to the Renaissance Masters, she is quoted as saying, "After that I could not be satisfied with anything less than a big wall to paint on. I just had to be a mural painter." ( ) She furthered her studies at the Art Students League of New York, San Franciscomarker, the School of the Art Institute of Chicagomarker, New York School of Applied Design for Women and the Beaux Arts Institute of Design. After training as a mapmaker, Meiere served her country as a draftsman in the U.S. Navy during World War I. During Meiere's successful career, spanning 30 years and working on over 100 commissions, she became well-known for contributing well-integrated public art mosaics to many landmark buildings and is most closely associated with the Art Deco movement. Among many awards, she was the first woman honored with the Fine Arts Medal of the American Institute of Architectsmarker, and she was the first woman appointed to the New York Art Commission.

Meiere and sculptor Lee Lawrie were members of the loose "repertory company" of artists assembled by architect Bertram Goodhue. Goodhue's Nebraska State Capitol was her first major commission, and lead to other work related to Goodhue and his circle. Her work can be seen from New York to California. Some of Meiere's best work is very visible in Manhattanmarker, although reportedly she was proudest of her work on the Nebraska State Capitolmarker.

Meiere served on the Citizen’s Committee for the Army and Navy, providing portable altar pieces for military chaplains. This campaign created over 500 mobile 4’x6’ triptychs, 70 of her own design which could be used on base-camps, battleships, and hospitals worldwide. She taught first aid for the Red Cross after the US entered World War II. The Liturgical Arts Society was founded in her studio at 200 West 57th Street, New York City. In addition she served as President of the National Society of Mural Painters, twice, and Director of the Municipal Arts Society. She was also a member of the Architectural League of New York and the Architectural Guild of America.

Asked how to say her name, she told The Literary Digest (which spelled the name Meière) "It is of French origin and I pronounce it mee-AIR. My father's family anglicized the pronunciation to meer, but I have always used the more proper form." (Charles Earle Funk, What's the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.)

Selected Work

  • mosaics for the Great Hall dome of the National Academy of Sciencesmarker in Washington, DCmarker (with Goodhue)
  • extensive evolution-themed floor and ceiling art within the Nebraska State Capitolmarker, Lincoln, Nebraskamarker (with Goodhue)
  • floor mosaics at the Baltimore Trust Buildingmarker, circa 1929
  • mosaics and four stained glass clerestory windows for St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York Citymarker (with Goodhue)
  • the 75-foot mosaic arch over the sanctuary, and mosaics surrounding the Torah-shaped bronze ark, for the 1930 Temple Emanu-El, New York Citymarker, 1930
  • the three metal rondels called "Song", "Drama" and "Dance" on the 50th Street facade of the Radio City Music Hallmarker building at Rockefeller Centermarker in Manhattanmarker, designed by Meiere with metalwork executed by Oscar Bach
  • also at Rockefeller Center, the recently installed 13 by 17 ft wall sculpture in the underground concourse called "Radio and Television Encompassing the World" that was inspired by a drawing by Meiere,
  • extensive mosaic work for the Red and Gold Banking Room on the ground floor of Bank of New York Buildingmarker (formerly the Irving Trust Company Building, also known as One Wall Street), New York Citymarker (covered)
  • 1933 Chicago World's Fair Century of Progressmarker, 60' long x 8' high painted mural called A Century of Women's Progress Through Organization for the National Council for Women's Exhibit in the Social Science Building
  • Washington National Cathedral, "The Resurrected Christ" in the Resurrection Cathedral in Washington, DCmarker
  • mosaics at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louismarker (New Cathedral), St. Louis, Missourimarker, one of 20 artists engaged in assembling the largest collection of mosaics in the world


External links



Images



Image:NebraskaStateCapitolFloor1.jpg|Nebraska State Capitol floor mosaicImage:RCMH NYC1.jpg|Song, Radio City Music Hall rondelImage:Radio City Music Hall ext 2003.jpg|Three rondels in situ




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