Find, Learn, Price Art
Enjoy the comprehensive art database we've compiled since 1987
Membership Details
Images, sales charts, bios, signatures, 30 artist Alerts and more ...
Art auction records:  Millions of references for pricing research
Or, register for Free Alerts
To track 10 artists.

Already a member?  Sign in here

Mary A Reardon

 (1912 - 2002)
Mary A. Reardon was active/lived in Massachusetts.  Mary Reardon is known for portrait, landscape, figure, mural painting, illustration, design.

Mary A. Reardon

Biography from the Archives of askART

Mary A. Reardon (July 19, 1912 - May 8, 2002) painter, muralist, illustrator, designer

Recognized for 80' ceiling mosaics in cathedrals, children's book illustrations, oil portraits, and landscape plein air oils and watercolors, Mary A. Reardon, a Massachusetts painter, muralist, illustrator and designer, worked in many media.  A BFA graduate of the Yale School of Fine Arts in 1939 during its Beaux Arts period, she built a career in oil portraiture, conte crayon and charcoal, illustration in pencil, pen and ink, etchings, silk screen, stencil work, lithograph, egg tempera and wood block projects.  

Study in the late 1940s in Mexico with David Siqueiros led her to true fresco, and experimenting with form and paint such as duco (automobile paint), and lithography.  As she wrote: "There were the stimulating months with master painter David Alfaro Siqueiros in Mexico, and Jean Charlot in Syracuse.  Working with Siqueiros entailed painting straight up to the ceiling, on scaffolding twelve feet above the ground, on a single plank separated by six feet of space from the next one, and the planks not even roped down at the ends." She designed and created the first true fresco in the United States at St. John Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, with artist-plasterer David Barajas, one of Siqueiros's assistants in Mexico. Portraiture with Bernard Keyes, and watercolor study with Eliot O'Hara in Maine was significant in her professional development, as well as intensive work with muralists Eugene Savage and Jean Charlot.   Mexico and Guatemala provided a rich opportunity for her work in landscapes, principally oils, and she sought opportunities to portray pilgrimages - a theme that carried into later Cathedral murals.

Mary's work also included pen and ink advertisements for the Exeter Theater in Boston, Christmas card design, illustration and production, oil portraits of well-known Boston individuals now to be found in hospitals, court buildings and colleges, landscapes, architectural collaboration on murals and other painting.  Her illustration for seven children's books, included Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigan, a recipient of the YRCA award in1945, which is still printed and used in the elementary school curriculum.  Snow Treasure is also among the 100 most popular reading books for children.

During World War II, as a member of the Red Cross Arts and Crafts program, working with Boston sculptor Amelia Peabody, Mary sketched wounded veterans, which were sent as postcard portraits to family.  She painted and sketched sailors from the French navy who had fled before the Germans, and were stationed in Boston.  Mary's altar triptych mural (#214) was selected by the Citizens' Committee for the Army and Navy for use in religious services aboard the aircraft carrier USS Wasp.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Mary gathered with a group of artists and sculptors in Boston to form Ars Instaurare, and create a new approach to liturgical art in the Roman Catholic church. Guided by Reverend Thomas Carroll (founder of Carroll School for the Blind), Ars Instaurare also included jeweler and medalist Louise Reggio, sculptor Robert Amendola, silversmith Graham Carey, gallery director Celia Hubbard of Newbury Street and Harvard Square's Botolph Group, critic Lottie Lenn, graphic artist Gerard P. Rooney, sculptor Kay Gibson, and others.  Their work foresaw the liturgical changes later encouraged by the Vatican II council.

Mary taught studio art for the Boston Museum School adult education program, and twenty years at Emmanuel College in Boston (Advanced Techniques, Life Drawing and Painting), and lectured in the art of Europe, Mexico and Central America as well.

During her monumental work period with the cathedral basilicas, she brought in students from Emmanuel College to assist, both at the Fenway Studios and at her Hingham studio.  The full-scale cartoon sections would reach across the ceiling, down the wall, and across the floor, when assembled in rolls for a final check before mailing to Ravenna Mosaics.

Active in art and mural associations in Boston, New England and the Northeast, Mary exhibited in group and solo shows, and was particularly pleased to open the 21st century with a solo exhibition that focused on her career and monumental works at the South Shore  Art Center in Cohasset, Massachusetts in January 2000.

Personal Background:
Born in Quincy, Massachusetts, USA, July 19, 1912, Mary A. Reardon was the second child and only daughter of Dr. Daniel Bartholomew and Mary Cashman Reardon.  One of three siblings, her brothers included Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Paul C. Reardon and President Chevrolet founder, George D. Reardon.  A grand tour of Europe in 1930 with her family introduced her to the great architectural works and museums of Europe.  Travel was central to her life in art from that time.  

She lived in the family home after her mother passed away, and continued work in her studio at the Fenway Studios on Ipswich Street in Boston.  After her father's death, she moved to Hingham where she built a home, and eventually a studio where she and her assistants undertook the commission of the half-dome ceilings for the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Since her home was adjacent to her brothers' family homes in Hingham, they became convenient models for her mural sketches.

Mary had eleven nieces and nephews, some of whom also posed as models for her childrens' books and murals as children and as adults.  There were also fifty-two first cousins, and many friends with whom she corresponded throughout her lifetime, including her art acquaintances from exhibitions and workshops over the years.  Her grandfathers, Bartholomew W. Reardon, and John Cashman, had emigrated from Cork County, Ireland in the mid-1800s and worked in the granite quarries in Quincy.   She said, in an article describing her life in art, that her grandfathers' quarry work inspired her interest in structure and design.

A graduate of St. John School's elementary school in Quincy, and Quincy High School, she spent one additional college preparatory year at Kenwood Academy in Albany, New York.  Mary began sketching and drawing in her notebooks from her earliest school years.  An athlete and musician as well, she was the first woman tennis champion in Quincy, Massachusetts, and excelled in academics throughout her school years. With her family and cousins, she summered at Post Island in Quincy.  Before a ski accident as an adult, she enjoyed both skiing and horseback riding.

A graduate of Radcliffe College in 1934 with a BA in Art History, she was also a violinist and Manager of the Radcliffe Orchestra, a member of the Radcliffe Debate Team, and Business Manager of the Radcliffe Newspaper.  She and her brother Paul both reminisced about one of the highlights of their lives being their participation with Serge Koussevitsy conducting the Boston Symphony in the Bach B Minor Mass.  She sang with the Radcliffe Choral Society, and he with the Harvard Glee Club.

Her senior thesis focused on murals in church architecture, and her correspondence included a letter to Hildreth Meiere, who at that time was well known as a muralist, and liturgical artist.

A modest woman of strong religious convictions, she was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, and active in St. Paul's Church in Hingham.  Mary received Honorary Degrees from the New England School of Law, and Emmanuel College, and was received Radcliffe College's Distinguished Alumna award at her 50th reunion in 1984.

Article by Mary A. Reardon

Muralist Mary Reardon - Cathedral Art

From Radcliffe Quarterly, "Celebrating the Arts," June 1984, pp. 30 - 31.

How can one tell where a life, or a consuming interest may lead?   A person must possess a central intellectual thread, but the resulting cloth or tapestry may evolve into something completely unforeseen.  So it has been with me.  The central thread was a love of drawing and of beautiful objects of all periods, which had led me to Radcliffe College in 1930 and Harvard's superb fine arts department in the first place.  Of Michelangelo and the cave paintings of the Pyrenees I had read and heard, but had no thought of ever covering large wall areas myself.

Radcliffe spread before me all the riches that historical art energy had produced.  Paul Sachs, Chandler Rathfon Post, Arthur Pope, Harold Edgell opened wide horizons, and Robin Field stimulated in all of his students every creative impulse toward art.  The knowledge of theory that I learned from them has given me a basic advantage in all my later endeavors.  Following Radcliffe, I earned a BFA degree at the Yale School of Fine Arts, which was at the zenith of its reputation in training mural painters, sculptors, and architects working in harmony.  The regimen was related to the Beaux Arts system of Paris, and was eminently practical.  Life classes, portraiture, composition, and especially collaborative projects with teams of all three disciplines provided a technical approach and awareness that I have employed ever since.  My understanding of space, walls, architecture, and their interrelationships undoubtedly expanded swiftly in these circumstances.  The doors of friendship with many types of artists opened then.  Some, like Siquieros, Joseph Coletti, Jean Charlot, and Marie Zoe Greene-Mercier '33, have lent a fourth dimension to life.

I have been a free-lance artist with a studio for three decades in the renowned Fenway Studios, after a time on Newbury Street, and finally in a studio built at my home in Hingham, Massachusetts.  My work has varied from landscapes in watercolors or oils to true fresco, to portraits large or small, such as the large canvas of Humberto Cardinal Medeiros, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Boston.  His sittings were, for me, a joyful hour and a half each time, spent in conversation with a man of greatness.  There were children's books to illustrate, such as Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan (EP Dutton, 1942).  When an artist friend went away on vacation, I drew her advertisements for the Exeter Street Theatre.  From all these directions came my conviction that no two artists seem to come from the same circumstances, nor do they follow the same pattern to whatever success comes to them; there are uncharted fields for each new artist to explore.

As a result of Yale's training, and searching for more technical knowledge with Mexican muralists Siqueiros, Charlot, and others, my forces seemed to concentrate more upon work with architects.  Outstanding among these was the firm of Maginnis, Walsh, and Kennedy of Boston.

Alice Maginnis Walsh '30, AM '31, whose eminent father headed this firm, became a good and valued friend.  To this firm, later named Kennedy and Kennedy, I owe constant commissions over the years, culminating in three great areas in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  All were mosaics, for which I was to do the original designs and complete "cartoons" or preparatory paintings for the mosaic fabricators, at the full scale of 12 inches to the foot.  The first area, the "Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe," lead to a research trip to Mexico.  The later two were transept-domed ceilings of 84 feet by 32 feet each.  These took quite a bit of doing.  An account of the history of these commissions would indicate an almost daily crisis.  A brand new projector blew up during its first week.  When the refrigerator repairman discovered we needed information on Brahma bulls, which he had raised, he provided us with full illustrative materials.  Zoos and animal farms afforded detailed drawings; the green monkeys were a real find.  All of these events occurred prior to the completion of the ceiling mosaics of The Creation and The Last Judgment, which were dedicated in 1973.

These comprehensive subjects suggest the long process of their development.  First comes the commission from the architect and owner.  In the case of Maginnis, Walsh, and Kennedy, these were awarded without competition.  My present large commission for St. Louis Cathedral was the result, however, of a selection from among several other artists who were also being considered.  With commission in hand, a contract is worked out, specifying amount, payments to be made, specifications and materials.  Even the gathering of materials has a life of its own.  To find the cartons for sending 5-foot paper rolls to the mosaic factory it took weeks and amazing circumstances, which saw our source of supply burned to the ground.  "Gun cartons" used by moving companies to transport people's private artillery were the final answer.

Then a most interesting period ensues.  The liturgical committee or commission for the building, architects, and artist conduct long sessions concerning subject, point of view, alternatives, and general design.  For cathedrals such as the National Shrine or St. Louis, the well-planned program for the building may necessitate a certain style, period, or subject matter.  Then "monkey sketches," quick sketches for idea and composition are presented. By now I have spent many hours in the building, as the King of Siam said, "getting to know you," sitting in all its corners, studying its lines and masses, spaces and feeling for the major thrusts to be expressed.  More committee discussions can change sketches, designs, everything.  More sketches, then a detailed color rendering in half-inch to a foot scale.  Days of research follow, for the wall must be authentic.  One cannot guess how a Patagonian dresses, because in years to come, a Patagonian or a friend of one will surely walk up the cathedral aisle and seize upon any error.  In a nearby whale, is the baleen in both upper and lower jaws"?  Research is never completed.  Even while painting, facts still emerge, the line of the turn of hand or a type of dress in 50 B.C.

12 inches to a foot
Designs completed and approved, assistants engaged and ready to go, final production in full scale, 12 inches to a foot, begins.  Other muralists may use other processes than mine.  The National Shrine ceilings were 115 feet above the floor, and above the possibility of actual measurement.  To identify shapes and sizes involved in the truncated dome, I used the computer graphics department at Northeastern University.  The NASA scientist who did this work was entranced by such a novel problem in his field.  When the mosaic was installed, its width was exact, and the length about three inches too long.  The Ravenna Mosaic Company judged that this was caused by stretching of the paper backing the "tesserae" or glass pieces during fabrication.

The small half-inch scale painting is transposed, with mathematics on my part, into 8 inch by 10 inch painted squares, scale 2 inches to a foot.  Fed into the projector, these enlarge the scale to actual size by a tracing of the design onto rolls of paper 5 feet wide and about 20 feet long.  Final painting follows, with assistants covering the first layers with large brushes, guided in color by the small squares.  I then paint critical details, all flesh areas, and finish the whole with a unified style.  When you consider that, at this full size, a single line tracing can demand two weeks, you may understand that time passes in weeks and months, not days.

Proof of the planning
At last my work is finished.  Months later, with massive scaffolding in place a hundred feet aloft, the mosaic company inserts its exquisite work into freshly laid cement, and the proof of all our planning emerges.  Mosaic, like stained glass, is so beautiful a medium that it is impossible to anticipate the thrill of seeing one's work complete, with tenfold the loveliness of the artist's rendering.  There is it; it cannot be changed.  Unexpected successes show forth, with unintended fine relationships.  Some elements disappoint.  The work is done.

Exhibitions in Italy have been a great satisfaction.  My work was invited to the First International Exposition of Sacred Art in Trieste, 1963, and for the Second International Exposition in 1966, for which I was the United States coordinator.  In 1964 I exhibited at the Seventh Centenary of the Translation of St. Anthony Exposition at Padua.  I had a solo showing of drawings and watercolors at the Italo-American Society Gallery, Trieste, 1972.

My current project is equally as great as the National Shrine.  It is for St. Louis Cathedral, in St. Louis Missouri, a magnificent Romanesque-Byzantine basilica.  In construction since 1908, the whole interior above the height of 50 feet is covered by superb mosaics.  Only the two transept half domes and neighboring "soffits" or underarches had been painted more than 50 years ago, and, badly deteriorated, needed replacing.  It was determined to accomplish this replacement with mosaics of the Resurrection and the Holy Spirit.  I had the good fortune to be the artist selected, two years ago.  In another two years my part of the project should be finished.  To complete areas of 82 feet circumference by 42 feet in height, and of 76 feet in length by 18 feet in height, and of 76 feet in length by 18 feet in width, with the largest figure 14 feet tall, will demand at least that time span.  Of 8,000 square feet, only half is already safely on its way.

Here am I, unexpectedly a muralist, at the time of my 50th Radcliffe reunion, faced by the largest, most physically strenuous, most demanding commission of my career.  Never belittle the impetus that Radcliffe College provides to the company of her fortunate many.
Mary A. Reardon, Radcliffe, 1934

BA Radcliffe College, 1934.  Scott Carbee School of Art (1934-5).  BFA Yale School of Fine Arts, 1938.  Studied with Bernard Keyes (portraiture), Eliot O'Hara (watercolor).  Mural and fresco study and work with David Alfaro Siquieros (Mexico), Jean Charlot, David Barrajas, Eugene Savage and others.

Newbury Street, Boston; Fenway Studios, 30 Ipswich Street, Boston;
12 Martins Lane, Hingham

Guild of Boston Artists
National Society of Mural Painters
North Shore Art Association
South Shore Art Center
Copley Art Society
New England Watercolor Society
Charter Member, National Museum of Women in the Arts
Cambridge Art Association
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Ladies Committee

1930 - Family trip to Europe.
1940s - 50s - Studies with Siquieros, painting trips in Mexico and     Guatemala.  
1961-1990s  - Mosaic and mural research and painting trips to Italy, France, Ireland, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Spain, India, Scandinavia, Peru, Caribbean, Northern Europe and Russia, and South America.

Solo Exhibitions:
1940 - 1970 - Boston, Quincy, Brockton, Seattle, Richmond  
1971 - Trieste, Italy
1972/3 - Washington DC - Exhibition of "Creation" and "Last Judgment"
September 1974 -  Thomas Crane Public Library, Quincy MA
1990 - Hingham Galleries, Hingham MA
November 1990 - Reardon Studio, Hingham MA
November 1993 - Aisling Gallery, Hingham MA
January - February 2000 - South Shore Art Center, Cohasset MA
November 2004 - Hingham Library Gallery, Hingham MA

Group Exhibitions:
First International Exhibition of Sacred Art, Trieste, Italy, 1961;  US Coordinator of Second Exhibition of Sacred Art, Trieste Italy 1966.  1973, Invited to Exhibition of Seventh Centenary of Translation of St. Anthony, Padua, Italy. Burr Artists, New York.  Mint Museum, North Carolina.  Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  Grand Central Galleries, NYC. National Printmakers. Radcliffe College exhibit.  Lamplighter Center, Hartford. Emmanuel College Faculty Exhibit.  

Others in New York, Richmond Virginia, Seattle Washington, Jersey City Museum, New Jersey, several in Quincy, Massachusetts; Cambridge Arts Association (Member's Show and Small Works Show), Hamilton Art Fair, Hamilton MA; Boston, Gloucester and  South Shore Arts Festival and South Shore Art Center Cohasset Massachusetts.  Bank of Boston Gallery,  1989. North River Arts Association Show, 1992. South Shore Art Center Gallery, 1992. Bare Cove Gallery and Treasure Shop Gallery, Hingham MA;  Hingham Gallery, 1992.  North River Art Association juried show 1992. Other in US.

Murals (in oil, acrylic, fresco, egg tempera, mosaic):
Cabot Hall game room, Radcliffe College, Cambridge MA
Maryknoll Sisters Chapel, Boston MA
Quincy YMCA, Lobby Mural, 1957, Quincy MA
Chapel, Daughters of St. Paul, Jamaica Plan MA
Christ Child Chapel, "Nazareth"
Chapel of St. Francis Xavier, Society of Jesus, Newbury St., Boston
Altars of St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis Xavier, St. William's Hall,  St. John's Seminary
Fresco of Priesthood, Bishop Peterson Hall Chapel, St. John's Seminary, Brighton MA (said to be first true fresco in US; true fresco, 18' x 20', with David Barrajas of Mexico assisting)
Park Street Chapel, altarpieces of St. Joseph, Blessed Virgin, dove baldochinno - no longer in place)
Chapel of St. Paul,  Paulist Fathers, St. Stephen St., Boston
Stations of the Cross, St. Teresa's, Watertown MA (egg tempera)
Stations of the Cross and Flame baldocchino, St. Francis Xavier Chapel, Newbury Street (now destroyed)
St. Peter St. Paul Church, South Boston
Altar Triptych #214, for USS Wasp, 1942, Citizens Committee of the Army and Navy
Baldocchinos, Chapel of John XXIII Seminary, Weston MA
Cardinal Cushing Hospital, Brockton MA
Holy Spirit College chapel, NY
Chapel mural, Daughters of St. Paul Mother House, MA
St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Boston, MA
Auditorium mural, Life of Cardinal Spellman, Cardinal Spellman High School, Brockton MA
Altarpiece for St. Mary of the Nativity, Scituate Harbor MA
Murals in oil; Altar dedicated to St. Thomas More, Cathedral of Mary our Queen, O'Neil Memorial Chapel, Baltimore Maryland; Baldocchino; Jean Baptiste de la Salle, 1973
Mosaic murals National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC Mosaic Chapel of Our Lady of  Guadalupe, 16' x 70', 1965
Mosaic Ceiling Vaults of "Creation" and "Last Judgment", 84' x 32' each, 1973
St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, design consultant, 1977
First Church of Weymouth,  stained glass window design, 1980
Muralist, mosaic mural domes and walls, St. Louis Cathedral, St. Louis, 1981-1988
Transept half domes, "Resurrection" and "Pentecost," 82' x 42' each
Soffitts for half domes, 18' x 76' each Historical walls, 70' x 35'
St. Stephen's Church, Cohasset MA
Design for Stained Glass window, Mary and Martha, 2001

Selected Oil and Egg Tempera Portraits:
Dr. Frank Roberts Ober, former Chief of Orthopedics, Children's Hospital, Boston
Richard Cardinal Cushing, for Sisters of St. Paul, Dedham, MA
Dr. William F. Looney, President Boston State College, Boston, MA
Anna Hirsch, Esq., Professor, Trustee, at NE School of Law
Judge John Murphy, at Brockton Superior Court
Dr. William Harris, Orthopedic Surgeon, Mass. General
Hospital, at Haverford College
Richard Cardinal Cushing
Humberto Cardinal Medeiros, Archbishop of Boston, at St.
 Elizabeth's Hospital, Brighton
Dr. Daniel B. Reardon, former President, Massachusetts
Medical Society, and Mary Cashman Reardon
Mary C. Reardon, egg tempera, private collection
St. Thomas Aquinas, egg tempera, private collection
Hon Paul C. Reardon, Associate Justice Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, at Social Law Library, John Adams Court House, Boston
George, private collection.  Egg tempera.
Rev. Thomas Carroll, at Carroll Center for the Blind, Newton
André of Le Fantasque, in Montreal, private collection
Liberian Woman, in private collection
 Girl Reading, in Fairfax VA, in private collection
 Woman with Pearls, in Los Angeles, in private collection
Margaret Driscoll, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Man with Guitar, in Fairfax VA private collection
Martha, in Hingham MA private collection
St. Martin de Porres, Montserrat BWI, 1992

Mary A. Reardon painted hundreds of landscape watercolors, oils, acrylics; she sketched portrait studies in conte crayon and pastel,  created portrait sketches of wounded WW II veterans for Arts and Crafts program of Red Cross

Student Etchings at Yale 1937-38
Geometric Print
Chrismas Card Plate
Farmhouse -- 9 prints
Wharfrats Club - Nantucket - 1 proof and 9 prints
Charrette - Proof and 4 prints
Drama School Doorway Yale - 3 proofs, 6 prints
B Thrall Bookplate - 3 proofs, 5 prints
Commission for Barbara Thrall

Ballerina Unattainable- 20 prints
Pilgrim at Guadelupe -  September 1954; "1 color block done in S. Miguel Allende, Mexico - 12 good prints.  Jack Baldwin and I printed it.  Touche used."

Concheros Dancers.—September 1954.  "2 color litho,     black and organe.  J. Baldwin and I printed it.  8 prints."

Silk Screen:
Sacred Heart - "serigraph - two-color - red and black 5 " x 8", Printed February 26, 1955 (2 weeks preparation); 25 good prints

Childrens' Book Illustrations:
Snow Treasure, Marie McSwigan (Dutton, YRCA Award 1945) (in print in school editions in 2009; #55 in 2008 of Best     chapter books, Listopia)
Five on a Merry-go-Round, Marie McSwigan (E. P. Dutton)
Sir William Grenfell, Genevieve Fox (Thomas  Y. Crowell Co.)
Giant Mountain, Frances Fullerton Neilson (E.P Dutton, 1946)
They Came from Scotland, Clara Ingram (Judson)
Pope Pius XII, Rock of Peace, written with Lottie H. Lenn  (Dutton)
A Bird in Hand, Anne Molloy (Houghton Mifflin)
Illustrations for children's workbooks (Houghton Mifflin)
Arts Instauare - children's confirmation puzzle


Member of The Redpath Lyceum Bureau - "Guatemala and Mexico in Color", and other subjects
Lectures for Radcliffe, St. John's Episcopal Women in Hingham MA; Massachusetts Medical Society Physicians Art Club; Weymouth Arts Association, Weymouth MA

Chatham Hall, Danville, Virginia (1934-35). Taught studio.
Emmanuel College, Boston (20 years 1952-1972, including brief term as Chair of Art Department - Advanced Techniques, Life Drawing, and Painting; Associate Professor)
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Museum School (instructor in watercolor and oil painting)

Biographical References through 2002

Who's Who of American Women
Who's Who in American Art
Dictionary of International Biography
Who's Who in the East
Yale U. Alumni Directory, 1995


Honorable Mention, Chaloner Prize, 1939
Full scholarship,  second year, Yale School of Fine Arts
President's Gold medal, International Exposition of Sacred Art,
    Trieste, Ital, 1966
Honorary Doctor of Humanities, New England School of Law, 1974
Alumnae Recognition Award, Radcliffe College Alumnae Association, 1984 (awarded at 50th Reunion)
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, Emmanuel College, 2000


Paintings in collections in Padua, Italy; Ireland; Massachusetts, New York, Ireland, California, Mexico, Guatemala;  in Canada, the US and Central and South America.


Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Mary Reardon papers, 1920-2002 (bulk 1940-1990) 5.6 linear feet
Biographical material; printed material; early childhood drawings by Reardon; photographs of Reardon and her works of art; files on major mural commissions and programs; files on Mexico, including the mural school of David Alfaro Siquieros; studio records; photographs of Reardon and her work; correspondence; sketches; and clippings. Major mural commissions include the Baltimore Cathedral, 1959, National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, 1973, and the St. Louis Cathedral, 1984.  

Massachusetts Historical Society

Mary A. Reardon papers, 1924 - 2002 17 record boxes and 2 oversize boxes

The collection consists of the professional and personal papers of liturgical artist Mary Agnes Reardon of Quincy and Hingham, Mass., 1924-2002. Professional papers include art exhibition and sales records; records of commissions for murals, book covers, Christmas cards and other artwork; sketches; and teaching files from Emmanuel College. Personal papers include correspondence with her father Daniel B. Reardon, her mother Mary Cashman Reardon, her brothers George and Paul C. Reardon, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. The collection also includes subject files, clippings, photographs and diaries.

Museum and Archives of the St. Louis Cathedral
Archives of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Emmanuel College, Arts Department, Boston MA


National Society of Mural Painters
Copley Society of Boston
South Shore Art Center
Burr Artists, New York City
Cambridge Art Association
Ars Instauare
North Shore Arts Association
Charter Member, National Museum of Women Artists
Ladies Committee of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Artists Equity
Liturgical Arts Society

Friday Club (125-year old book club)

Emma Carey Guild
Old Colony Radcliffe Club
Harvard Club of Boston

Discalced Carmelites, Third Order, Professed Member since 1957

And many other organizations, including Trustees of Reservations, "Holy Rollers," Community Fund


Travel, sailing, horseback riding, reading, music (sang and played violin), stamp collection, correspondence, family; landscape watercolors
Member, The Friday Club

Representative Articles and Catalogs

Mary A. Reardon, "Muralist Mary Reardon, Cathedral Art" in "Celebrating the Arts, Radcliffe Quarterly, June 1984, PP. 30 - 31.

Maurice B. McNamee, S.J., Mosaics of the Cathedral of Saint Louis, Cathedral of Saint Louis, 1994, 55 pp.

William Barnaby Flaherty, S.J. PhD., The Great Saint Louis Cathedral, the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, 1988,  39 pp.

2a Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Sacra,  Sotto l'Alto Patronato del Presidente Della Repubblica Italiana, Trieste, Settembre-Ottobre 1966 (100-page catalog)

Esposizione Internationale di Pittura e Scultura, Nel VII Centenario Antoniano Padova-Basilica del Santo,  1263-1963,
Basilica del Santo, Padova, 1963. (124-page catalog)

George E. Ryan, "Portrait of the Artist as a Hingham Dynamo," The Pilot, Boston, September 23, 1994, p.1 and 21.

Submitted by Martha Reardon Bewick, niece of Mary A. Reardon

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Share an image of the Artist

  Full access to biographies is
  free each Friday
Biography photo for Mary A. Reardon
© Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

About  Mary A. Reardon

Born:  1912 - Quincy, Massachusetts
Died:   2002
Known for:  portrait, landscape, figure, mural painting, illustration, design