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Talk & Book Signing: Art Deco in Baltimore: The Architectural Murals of Hildreth Meière
October 1, 2015 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
To kick off Baltimore Architecture Month, the Baltimore Architecture Foundation and the Women in Architecture Committee of AIABaltimore are pleased to present out-of-town guest and author Catherine Coleman Brawer in a talk about Hildreth Meière (1892-1961), one of the women featured in the exhibit “Early Women of Architecture in Maryland” which also will be open for viewing before and after the talk during the evening.
Hildreth Meière worked in collaboration with architects, clients, and craftsmen, to embellish the walls, ceilings, and floors of over 60 buildings across the country in a variety of mediums, including glass mosaic, glazed terracotta, stained glass, and metal relief sculpture. Meière’s designs for public and commercial buildings, churches, and world’s fairs led to her being awarded the AIA’s prestigious Fine Arts Medal with the citation “Master of Murals” in 1956.
Her trademark Art Deco style is evident in the floor mosaics of 10 Light Street, Baltimore’s beloved Art Deco skyscraper. This flagship headquarters for the Baltimore Trust Company Building in 1929 was her first corporate commission. Her designs for its banking hall marble floor allude to the city’s major industries and maritime activities at that time and caused the Baltimore Sun to write in 1930 “…no artist in America… has a more highly developed sense of the possibility of her mediums” as can be seen in “… her courageous pioneering in handling [these] floors… not merely as a space to be filled with unrelated geometric designs, but as an integral part of the decorative scheme of an architectural creation.“
Other area projects included:
~ Great Hall Dome, National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. (1924)
~Altarpieces at St Mark’s on the Hill in Pikesville and St Katherine of Sienna Church in Baltimore. (1933)
~East Courtyard Frieze of Municipal Center Building in Washington DC (1941)
~Chapel of the Resurrection Half-dome of Apse in the Washington National Cathedral, DC (1951)
Learn how these area commissions distinguished this prominent American muralist and tie to other great works of art and architecture.
Exhibit will be open for viewing starting at 5pm, the 40 minute talk will begin around 6pm
Catherine Coleman Brawer curated the exhibition and wrote the catalogue “Walls Speak: The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meière.” The exhibition was shown at the National Building Museum in Washington in 2011 and at the Museum of Biblical Art in NY the following year. Most recently, she co-authored “The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière,” which will be available for purchase after the talk.
Brawer graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and received an MA in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. An author and independent curator, she has mounted exhibitions on such varied topics as The Auspicious Dragon in Chinese Decorative Arts and Many Trails: Indians of the Lower Hudson Valley at the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, New York. While on the staff of the Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brawer wrote Chinese Export Porcelain in the Liebman Collection. She also wrote The Studio Building, and was co-author of Making Their Mark: Women Artists Move into the Mainstream, 1970-1985.
Image: Detail of Baltimore Harbor in Baltimore Trust Company Building completed in 1930 by Hildreth Meière. Photograph by Hildreth Meière Dunn © 2015.
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