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Hildreth Meière's Red Room at One Wall Street, New York, NY. Hildreth Meière Dunn © 2009

The Orange Glow of the Red and Gold Banking Room by Hildreth Meière

Hildreth Meière's Red Room at One Wall Street, New York, NY.   Hildreth Meière Dunn © 2009
Hildreth Meière’s Red Room at One Wall Street, New York, NY. Hildreth Meière Dunn © 2009

 

The Red and Gold Banking Room(1931) glows orange.   Hilly Meière, granddaughter of Hildreth Meière, and Vice President of the International Hildreth Meière Association, graciously allowed me to use this amazing photo.  As this writer, David W. Dunlap eloquently described it:

The Red Room is a glittering, vaulted grotto whose walls and ceilings are slathered in 8,911 square feet of mosaics that create an ambient color of blood orange, inscribed with a skein of gold highlights.

In a previous post, I wrote about orange speaking to both red and yellow, and in Meière’s room it’s as if the red and gold are creating orange out of their intimate conversation.   One Wall Street in NYC has been sold to a developer, and hopefully this will bode well for the Red and Gold Room.

The Red Room is a glittering, vaulted grotto whose walls and ceilings are slathered in 8,911 square feet of mosaics that create an ambient color of blood orange, inscribed with a skein of gold highlights.

 

W is for Wernersville, PA and the Jesuit Center, A to Z Challenge 2013

Hildreth Meiere Mosaic of Crucifixion in the Chapel at Wernersville Jesuit Spiritual Center.
Hildreth Meiere Mosaic of Crucifixion in the Chapel at Wernersville Jesuit Spiritual Center. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

 

W is for Wernersville, PA and the Jesuit Center.  When I was introduced to the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises at the University of Scranton, little did I know that Stratoz be the one most touched by them.  My spiritual director, when I told her I was moving to Lansdale, had said “Wernersville.  That is where you need to go.”  I did, and was entranced by the art that is an integral part of the Jesuit Center, especially the mosaics by Hildreth Meiere in the chapel.

Stained Glass Window at Wernersville, from the floor of the hallway. Photo by Wayne Stratz.
Stained Glass Window at Wernersville, from the floor of the hallway. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

Stratoz was intrigued by the Jesuit Center’s silent retreats, and although he hadn’t done the Spiritual Exercises in Scranton, he went on a silent retreat and was refreshed, and has kept going over the years.  He has designed much artwork there.

Standing within a Tree at Wernersville. Photo by Wayne Stratz.
Standing within a Tree at Wernersville. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

He is well acquainted with the trees.

Jesuit Spiritual Center in Wernersville, PA. Photo by Wayne Stratz.
Jesuit Spiritual Center in Wernersville, PA. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

I discovered that my studio is my place of reflection, so I haven’t been to Wernersville in awhile, but I see the effect it has on Stratoz, and I remember how Hildreth Meiere’s mosaic sparked my love of mosaic, and it is close to my heart.

Wernersville Sunset
Wernersville Sunset. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

The Spiritual Exercises are prayer and meditation with these characteristics according to IgnatianSpirituality.com:

These include a sense of collaboration with God’s action in the world, spiritual discernment in decision making, generosity of response to God’s invitation, fraternity and companionship in service, and a disposition to find God in all things. Spiritual integration is a prominent theme of the Exercises: integration of contemplation and action, prayer and service, and emotions and reason.

 

Stratoz on Wernersville

My previous A to Z posts.

More images on my A to Z Challenge 2013 Pinterest Board.

A to Z Blogging Challenge April 2013

 

Pilgrimage to Walls Speak: The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meiere, September 4th-June 13th, 2010

Pelican Mosaic Detail Hildreth Meiere As soon as I heard about Walls Speak:  The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meiere, I knew I had to make a pilgrimage.  As I have written, Meiere’s mosaics at the Wernersville Jesuit Spiritual Center were the first mosaics to catch my eye, and set the desire in my heart to make them.  Because mosaic and murals are often part of architecture, it’s a challenge to do an exhibit in a museum.

St. Bonaventure University’s Regina Quick Center for the Arts is the host of this first major retrospective of Meiere’s work.  To develop as full a representation as is possible, the exhibit ranges from photographs of her installations at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the Prudential Building in Newark, NJ, and the Nebraska State Capitol Dome, plus sketches, a smalti sample board, and Triptychs for the Armed Services, and sample mosaics from the Cathedral Basilica of  St. Louis project.

I was fascinated by the Triptychs which were from World War II.  Meiere organized a group of artists to paint over 500 Triptychs for Catholic, Protestant and Jewish worship in the field during the war, painting 70 of them herself.  The portable altars are like a morsel of the church in the midst of destruction, and I can’t even imagine what the experience might be like to worship in a war zone.

St. Bonaventure University’s buildings is are a tile lover’s dream, with “Italian Transitional” architecture with red roof tiles, and bas relief plaques.  And Olean, NY was also home to the American Olean Tile Company, which coincidentally had a factory here in Lansdale as well.  In addition there was a sculpture of St. Francis by Beniamino Bufano at the Regina Quick Center, the artist I discovered while writing about Martin Luther King Day.

If you have the chance, go check it out before June 13th, when the Meiere exhibit ends.

Related Post:

The Ignatian Spirit and the Mosaics of Hildreth Meiere

The Ignatian Spirit and the Mosaics of Hildreth Meiere

Hildreth Meiere Mosaic at Wernersville Jesuit Spiritual Center
Hildreth Meiere Mosaic at Wernersville Jesuit Spiritual Center. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

Stratoz returned from an 8 day silent retreat at the Wernersville Jesuit Spiritual Center and I was very happy to see him!  Wernersville has a special place in my heart, as it was there, at a retreat on spirituality and collage, that I first saw a mosaic “in person” and a spectacular one made with Italian gold smalti, and designed by Hildreth Meiere.

Meiere(1890-1961) was an art deco muralist and mosaicist, and had many commissions for public art, and in 1956 was the first woman to win the Fine Arts Medal from the American Institute of Architects.

Through my Nutmeg Designs etsy shop, a relative of HM contacted me, because I mentioned she was a favorite.  It was a thrill when he bought one of my mosaic picture frames for a vintage photo of Hildreth Meiere.

Mosaic Frame by Margaret Almon
Mosaic Frame by Margaret Almon

 

The frame was one of the first projects I did with gold smalti, in this case red gold in the center and the corners.  Orsoni Smalti Factory has discontinued the red smalti in the U.S. which set me pining, because it is such an intense glowing red.

Stratoz always comes back refreshed from his retreats.  I won’t be signing up for a silent retreat anytime soon, but I would go back to Wernersville to sit in the chapel and soak in the mosaics.

Related Post:

Pilgrimage to Walls Speak:  The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meiere