Capitol Muralist Recognized

The Nebraska State Capitol was prominently featured in a 2009 exhibition at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, New York. The exhibit, Walls Speak, is the first major show to recognize the outstanding artistic contributions of Hildreth Meiere. Because Meiere worked primarily as a muralist curator, Catherine Coleman Brawer used photographs of Meiere’s architectural commissions and the maquettes and sketches she created for her site specific installations in the exhibit. Brawer and Meiere’s granddaughter Hildreth Meiere Dunn visited the Capitol in preparation for the exhibit. Meiere Dunn photographed the floor and ceiling mosaics while Brawer and Capitol Archivist Karen Wagner reviewed the Capitol Collections for suitable artifacts to include in the exhibit. While reviewing the collection, Brawer discovered artwork previously unknown to Meiere scholars. This exhibit provided the Office of the Capitol Commission its first opportunity to contribute to a national exhibit on an artist involved in the creation of the ground-breaking Nebraska State Capitol. One of the pieces loaned to the exhibit represented a departure from Meiere’s usual work in tile and glass. For Nebraska, Meiere created her first tapestry. The large (85” by 27”) wool and linen study (pictured right) of a Native Nebraskan was sent to the Quick Center to be included in the exhibit. The finished tapestry, based on Amos Bad Heart Bull’s late 19th Century drawing, is located above the Speaker’s Niche in the East Legislative Chamber, now the Warner Memorial Chamber, which formerly housed the Nebraska Senate. The wool and linen maquette Hildreth Meiere created for the Native American tapestry in the Speaker’s Niche of the Senate Chamber of the Nebraska State Capitol was part of a national exhibit.