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Hildreth Meière papers

Creator:
Meiere, M. Hildreth, d. 1961  Search this
Names:
Exposition internationale (1937 : Paris, France)  Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940)  Search this
Peter A. Juley & Son  Search this
United States. Navy  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Dunn, Louise Meière  Search this
Extent:
27.3 Linear feet
0.068 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Slides (photographs)
Transcripts
Video recordings
Photographs
Poetry
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Place:
Spain -- history -- Civil War, 1936-1939
Date:
1901-2011
bulk 1911-1960
Summary:
The papers of Hildreth Meière measure 27.3 linear feet and 0.068 GB and date from 1901 to 2011, with the bulk of material dating from 1911 to 1960. The collection documents Meière's life and travels, and her long and prolific career as an architectural muralist through biographical material, correspondence, writings, thirteen diaries, files regarding her war relief work during the Spanish Civil War and World War II, printed and digital materials, extensive photographs and slides, eight sketchbooks, and two videocassettes and 93 reels of motion picture film documenting her travels, her volunteer efforts in Spain following the civil war, artwork, and home movies.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Hildreth Meière measure 27.3 linear feet and 0.068 GB and date from 1901 to 2011, with the bulk of material dating from 1911 to 1960. The collection documents Meière's life and travels, and her long and prolific career as an architectural muralist through biographical material, correspondence, writings, thirteen diaries, files regarding her war relief work during the Spanish Civil War and World War II, printed and digital materials, extensive photographs and slides, eight sketchbooks, and two videocassettes and 93 reels of motion picture film documenting her travels, her volunteer efforts in Spain following the civil war, artwork, and home movies.

Biographical material includes an autobiographical narrative written by Meière, her many awards and certificates, membership information, passports, her U.S. Navy service records from World War I, documentation of her brief marriage and family genealogy, obituaries, and memorial service documentation. Also found are extensive writings and research conducted by Meière's daughter, Louise Meière Dunn, which include a complete list of Meière's commissions, detailed biographical narratives, and records of Meière's works held elsewhere.

The papers contain Meière's personal and family correspondence, travel correspondence, and business correspondence regarding professional activities. Much of the correspondence with family and friends was written during Meière's extensive travels over the world. Both family and travel correspondence have extensive indexes, summaries, and in some cases, transcripts prepared by Meière's daughter, Louise Meière Dunn. Some of the indexes, summaries and transcripts are digital. Writings include poetry and diaries kept during childhood and school years, travel diaries, essays and talks written about Meière's work, writings Meière prepared for committees of the National Mural Painters Association, and detailed travelogues of her trips to Constantinople and the Balkans in 1933, to Russia in 1936, her "Grand Tour" to Australia, Southeast Asia, India, Africa, and Europe in 1952-1953, and her "Holy Land" tour of the Middle East in 1954.

Civilian War Service Records document Meière's efforts at war relief organization during and after the Spanish Civil War and during World War II. The Spanish Civil War files include extensive photographs provided by the Spanish government as well as three motion picture films documenting refugees and damaged architecture and public artwork shot by Meière during a trip sponsored by Franco's government. World War II activities concern Meière's efforts to organize artists in the United States to design and execute murals and other works of public art at military facilities around the U.S.

Travel records include maps, ephemera, slides, and 83 motion picture films taken on trips abroad between 1933 and 1958. Trips include Eastern and Western Europe, the Mediterranean Region and the Middle East, South America, Mexico and Guatemala, India, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, and the UK. The motion picture films are mostly shot in Kodachrome color and many contain intertitles prepared by Meière to identify locations for travel lectures.

Printed materials consist primarily of clippings and publications that reference Meière's work, contain profiles of her, or contain published writings by her. A single published educational film is also found, given to her by an Australian filmmaker friend. Additional photographs, digital photographs and moving images include personal photographs of Meière, with portraits by Peter A. Juley and Sons and Berenice Abbott, photographs of many of her commissioned works, and a few photographs of artwork by others. Home movies show Meière with friends in 1926 and 1940. Among the photographic documentation of artworks by Meière and others are motion picture films of the 1939 New York World's Fair, the D.C. Municipal Building Frieze, and the 1937 Paris Fair; also found are 311 lantern slides and 201 glass copy negatives of her own completed works as well as murals she documented while traveling, notably murals in Norway and Oberammergau, Bavaria, taken in the 1930s.

Eight sketchbooks date to her early years as an art student and artist and include many figure studies, landscapes, and theatrical sketches made at home and abroad.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in 8 series. Indexes, summaries, and transcripts prepared by Louise Meière Dunn that relate directly to archival materials in the collection are found throughout the collection with the material they describe. These indices are particularly rich in Series 2, Correspondence.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1915-2003 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 1, 14, OV18)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1901-2011 (3 linear feet; Boxes 1-4, RD19, 0.038 GB; ER01-ER03)

Series 3: Writings, 1904-1960 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 4-5)

Series 4: Civilian War Service Records, 1938-2006 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 5-6, 15, FC 28-30)

Series 5: Travel Records, 1933-1958 (12.8 linear feet; Boxes 6-10, 15, OV18, FC 31-111)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1913-1998 (2.1 linear feet; Boxes 10-12, 15, FC 112)

Series 7: Photographs and Moving Images, 1915-1966 (5.8 linear feet; Boxes 12-13, 16, 20-27, FC 17, 113-127, 0.029 GB; ER04)

Series 8: Sketchbooks, 1911-1922 (0.4 linear feet; Box 13)
Biographical / Historical:
Hildreth Meière (1892-1961) was born in Flushing, New York, and had a prolific career from 1921-1961 as an architectural muralist working primarily in an Art Deco style. Meière painted murals and designed for various mediums including mosaic, metal, and stained glass. In 1956 the American Institute of Architects awarded Meière their Fine Arts Medal.

Meière was educated at New York's Convent of the Sacred Heart, Manhattanville, the Art Students League in New York, the California School of Fine Arts (now San Francisco Art Institute), and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in addition to pursuing studies in Italy. Her major commissions include the Nebraska State Capitol at Lincoln, the National Academy of Sciences, the Resurrection Chapel of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. In New York, she designed the Art Deco plaques on the exterior wall of Radio City Music Hall; created mosaic interiors for the Irving Trust Building at 1 Wall Street; and provided ecclesiastical decorations for St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, Temple Emanu-El, and elsewhere. She also created murals for the Chicago 1933 Century of Progress Fair, and the 1939 New York World's Fair.

She was also an active officer in the Art Students League and the National Society of Mural Painters. Some of her most inspired collaborations were with the architect Bertram Goodhue in the 1920s, and only his sudden death in 1924 put an end to them, although some projects were finished with the successor firm.

Meière died in 1961 at the age of 68. Her work is remembered in several major publications, including The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière by Catherine Coleman Brawer and Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, with photographs by Meière's granddaughter, Hildreth Meière Dunn, published in 2014; and the catalog of the 2009 exhibition at St. Bonaventure University, curated by Brawer and photographed by Dunn, entitled Walls Speak: the Narrative Art of Hildreth Meière.
Provenance:
A majority of the collection placed on deposit 2001 by Louise Meière Dunn, daughter of Hildreth Meière. The collection was donated incrementally by Dunn through 2012. Donations occurred 2001-2007, and again in 2010-2012.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires and appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Hildreth Meière papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
War relief  Search this
Travel  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
World War I, 1914-1918  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Mosaicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art commissions  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Slides (photographs)
Transcripts
Video recordings
Photographs
Poetry
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Hildreth Meière papers, 1901-2011, bulk 1911-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.meiemari
See more items in:
Hildreth Meière papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-meiemari
Additional Online Media:

Hildreth Meière papers, 1901-2011, bulk 1911-1960

Creator:
Meiere, M. Hildreth (Marie Hildreth), 1892-1961  Search this
Subject:
Abbott, Berenice  Search this
Dunn, Louise Meière  Search this
Peter A. Juley & Son  Search this
United States.Navy  Search this
New York World's Fair  Search this
Exposition internationale  Search this
Topic:
Mosaicists  Search this
Muralists  Search this
Poetry  Search this
Travel  Search this
Diaries  Search this
War relief  Search this
Sketchbooks  Search this
Video recordings  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Slides (photographs)  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Painters  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)  Search this
Transcripts  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Art commissions  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5982
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)228718
AAA_collcode_meiemari
Theme:
Women
Lives of American Artists
Latino and Latin American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_228718
Additional Online Media:

Study for Architect and Developer [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
Ca. 1932 (?)
Topic:
Occupation--Industry--Construction  Search this
Occupation--Art--Architect  Search this
Architecture interior--Commercial--Office Building  Search this
Architecture exterior--Commercial--Skyscraper  Search this
Study  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012556
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12556

Altarpiece for Church of the Assumption, Westport, Connecticut (left panel) [painting] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1948
Topic:
Religion--Angel  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012394
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12394

Altarpiece for Church of the Assumption, Westport, Connecticut (right panel) [painting] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1948
Topic:
Religion--Angel  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012395
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12395

Altarpiece for Church of the Assumption, Westport, Connecticut (center panel) [painting] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1948
Topic:
Religion--New Testament--Mary  Search this
Religion--Angel  Search this
Still Life--Flower--Rose  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012396
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12396

Two Angels with Shield [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Religion--Angel  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012397
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12397

Children's Playroom Cutouts: Pinocchio Ran but the Dog Aldiro Ran Faster and Pinocchio Saves the Life of His Friend Harlequin [sculpture] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Literature--Collodi--Adventures of Pinocchio  Search this
Literature--Character--Pinocchio  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012398
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12398

Children's Playroom Cutout: Pinocchio as a Donkey is Bought by a Circus and is Taught to Jump Hoops [sculpture] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Literature--Collodi--Adventures of Pinocchio  Search this
Literature--Character--Pinocchio  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012399
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12399

Children's Playroom Cutouts: Pinocchio Meets the Lame Fox and Blind Cat and Pinocchio and the Snail [sculpture] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Literature--Collodi--Adventures of Pinocchio  Search this
Literature--Character--Pinocchio  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012400
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12400

Children's Playroom Cutouts: Gapetto Felt a Sharp Kick on the Tip of His Nose and Pinocchio's Ears Become Like Those of a Donkey [sculpture] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Topic:
Literature--Collodi--Adventures of Pinocchio  Search this
Literature--Character--Pinocchio  Search this
Literature--Character--Gapetto  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012401
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12401

Altarpiece for St. John's Church, Buffalo, New York (right panel) [painting] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1944
Topic:
Religion--New Testament--Christ  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012402
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12402

Head of Christ [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1940s
Topic:
Religion--New Testament--Christ  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012403
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12403

Stations of the Cross [painting] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1940s
Topic:
Religion--New Testament--Christ  Search this
Religion--New Testament--Mary  Search this
Emblem--Cross  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012404
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12404

Stations of the Cross [painting] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1940s
Topic:
Religion--New Testament--Christ  Search this
Emblem--Cross  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012405
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12405

Study for Folding Altarpiece for Army, Navy and Air Force Chaplains [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
Early 1940s
Topic:
Religion--New Testament--Nativity  Search this
Religion--New Testament--Christ  Search this
Religion--Angel  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012406
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12406

Study for Folding Altarpiece for Army, Navy and Air Force Chaplains [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
Early 1940s
Topic:
Religion--New Testament--Nativity  Search this
Religion--New Testament--Christ  Search this
Religion--Angel  Search this
Study  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012407
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12407

St. Joseph, the Carpenter [sculpture] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1946
Topic:
Religion--Saint--St. Joseph  Search this
Occupation--Craft--Carpenter  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012408
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12408

Altarpiece for St. John's Church, Buffalo, New York (center panel) [painting] / (photographed by Walter J. Russell)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Photographer:
Russell, Walter J. active ca. 1930s-1960s  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1944
Topic:
Religion--Saint  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012409
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12409

YMCA Fields of Service [painting] / (photographed by Peter A. Juley & Son)

Artist:
Meière, Hildreth 1892-1961  Search this
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1941
Topic:
Object--Written Matter--Map  Search this
Recreation--Sport & Play--Wrestling  Search this
Occupation--Education--Student  Search this
Recreation--Dancing  Search this
Image number:
JUL J0012410
See more items in:
Photograph Archives
Data Source:
Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_jul_12410

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