8.22.18 – Three Dames Create New Website for International Hildreth Meière Association

8.22.18 – Three Dames Create New Website for International Hildreth Meière Association

The International Hildreth Meière Association has recently launched a new website hildrethmeiere.org that encompasses almost all of American Art Deco muralist Hildreth Meière’s 100 commissions. The website was a collaborative project among three Dames: Hildreth Meière’s daughter, Louise Meière Dunn, granddaughter Hildreth Meière Dunn, and art historian Catherine Coleman Brawer. Hildreth (Hilly) Dunn was responsible for the photographs on the website, and Catherine Brawer wrote the text. They also collaborated on The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière, which was co-authored by Catherine Brawer.


Hildreth Meière (pronounced me-AIR) joined the CDA during World War II in 1944. At the time, she was hard at work organizing artists to paint portable altarpieces for the Armed Services. As she herself later explained,


“During the Second World War, being too old for the Waves, I taught First Aid, and as Vice-President of the Citizens Committee for the Army, Navy, and Air Corps, Inc. organized a group of artists who designed and painted portable triptychs for the Service chaplains. We sent out over five hundred of which I did over seventy.” (1)

Triptych 146, 1944
Triptych 201, 1944

By 1944, Meière (1892-1961) had become one of the most sought-after muralists in America. She was known across the country for her architectural decoration, most of it in her personal Art Deco style. Among her best known commissions are the Great Hall of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC and the domes and floors of the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln.

Great Hall, National Academy of Sciences, 1924
Vestibule dome, Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln, 1924

In New York, she designed enormous mixed metal and enamel roundels of Dance, Drama and Song for the 50th Street façade of Radio City Music Hall; the apse, narthex and clerestory windows of St. Bartholomew’s Church; and an eight-story-high mosaic arch at Temple Emanu-El.

50th Street facade, Radio City Music Hall, 1932
Apse, St. Bartholomew’s Church, 1930
Main arch, Temple Emanu-El, 1929

When she became a Dame, she had just designed the first of nine major mosaic commissions at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

North dome and wall, Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, 1957

Meière had always been patriotic. During World War I, she trained as a map maker and joined the Navy as an architectural draftsman. Photographs of Meière in her Naval uniform are included in an exhibition celebrating the centennial of the end of World War I, currently on display at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Gardens  (through September 9, 2018).

Hildreth Meière, 1918

Visit hildrethmeiere.org to learn more about this acclaimed American artist and her work.

(1) Hildreth Meière (“Her Life and Times (not Hard),” c. 1955. Hildreth Meière Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.