• Drinking deer, full-scale cartoon for mosaic on north wall, 1957
    Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
    Gouache on cartoon paper, 104 x 48 inches (image size)
    Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO.

  • Pelican, sample mosaic for apse panel, 1929
    St. Bartholomew’s Church
    Glass mosaic, 50 x 20 inches
    Saint Richard Parish, Saint Louis, MO
    Promised gift to St. Bonaventure University

  • Scale-model for the dome of the twelve apostle, 1957
    Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
    Gouache on metal, 23 1/2 inches in diameter
    Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Saint Louis, MO

  • Triptych no. 201 for the Armed Services, World War II, 1944
    Triptych for the Armed Services
    Oil on Wodd with gilded gesso, 60 x 70 in.
    Huguenot Memorial Church, Pelham Manor, N.Y.

  • Prudential Plaza
    Hildreth Meière making corrections to the Prudential lobby mosaic at the V. Foscato factory
    Long Island City, NY, 1956

  • Triptych no. 146 for the Armed Services, 1944. Oil on wood with gilded gesso, 60 x 72 inches. The Virginia War Museum, Newport News, Va.

Walls Speak

The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meière

February 03–May 20, 2012

This exhibition presents the liturgical work of Hildreth Meière (1892-1961), who was one of the best known and most prolific Art Deco muralists of the twentieth century. Recognized during her lifetime for both her liturgical and secular work, Meière completed over 100 commissions from 1922 to 1961. Though Meière is little known today, her commissions are very well recognized and include several New York City attractions like the Red Banking Room at One Wall Street, the lobby of the Walker Lispenard Building, and the 50th Street façade of Radio City Music Hall. 

Despite the prominence of her secular commissions, Meière was equally active in creating art for churches and synagogues. Writing in 1939 the artist noted that “Actually, about half of my commissions have been of a religious character, and to try to beautify a church is, to me, not only a professional opportunity, but a labor of faith and love.” Working in various media, Meière created altarpieces and designed decoration for the walls and apses of St. Bartholomew’s Church and Temple Emanu-El in New York City, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.  Walls Speak will show the evolution of these and other of Meière’s liturgical works, commission by commission, to elucidate the artist’s creative process.

Major support for MOBIA’s exhibitions and programs has been provided by the American Bible Society and by Howard and Roberta Ahmanson.  This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Walls Speak is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.