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MA Reardon Collection Finding Aid: Collection Overview

Title: MA Reardon Collection

Date(s): n.d., 1906-2004

Repository I.D.: US: MBEmm: Fac-2010-1

Collection Call No.: Fac-2010-1

Reardon, Mary (creator/collector)

Location: Emmanuel Archives—Cardinal Cushing Library 202

Extent: 94.7 linear feet (1,332 folders/ 61 boxes) 

Language(s): Material is predominately in English. Other languages include: Spanish and Italian.

Abstract: This collection contains material created and/or collected by MA Reardon through the course of her life (1912-2002).

Access Restrictions: 1) Portions of the collection are restricted. 2) Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the College Archivist.

Preferred Citation: [Item Title]. [Box Number, Folder Number]. MA Reardon Collection. Cardinal Cushing Library, Emmanuel College, Boston, MA.

Related Collection(s):  

MA Reardon Hingham Home/Studio Photographs and Videos. Cardinal Cushing Library, Emmanuel College, Boston, MA.

MA Reardon Illustrated Books. Cardinal Cushing Library, Emmanuel College, Boston, MA.

Guide to the Yale University Art, Architecture, and Art History Theses and Projects (RU 259). Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT.

 Mary A. Reardon Papers. Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA.

Mary Reardon Papers. Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC.

Provenance: The material was created and/or collected by MA Reardon. In October 2010, several years after Ms. Reardon’s death, her niece and executrix, Mrs. Martha Bewick, donated a portion of her private papers to Emmanuel College. The Emmanuel College Archives accessioned the collection that same year (2010).

Processed By: Processed by John P. Healey, Jr. in 2011 through 2012.

Biography/History: MA (Mary Agnes) Reardon was a liturgical artist, portraitist and teacher during the 20th century. Born on July 19, 1912, she was the middle child of Mary Agnes (Cashman) and Daniel B.  Reardon MD. MA Reardon and her brothers Paul and George grew-up in Quincy, Massachusetts. After graduating from Quincy High School in 1929, she attended Radcliff College and Yale University’s School of Fine Arts where she earned a BA (1934) and BFA (1938), respectively. After earning her degrees, MA Reardon continued to hone her skills earning a honorable mention at the Challoner Prize Foundation (1937) and established a studio at 30 Ipswich Street in Boston, Massachusetts. She participated in many different projects that included: sketching wounded service men of the Second World War (1941-1945), illustrating children’s books (1942-1946), exhibited her work at the Institute of Modern Art, now the Institute of Contemporary Art ( 1944) and assisting David Siqueiros with mural paintings in Mexico (c. 1948-1949). In the 1950s, in addition to becoming a professor of Art at Emmanuel College in Boston,   Reardon began to lead her own artistic projects that would include murals for St. Peter and Paul’s Church (1952), Cardinal Spellman High School (1955-1958), and St. John’s Seminary (c. 1958-1959), all in or around the Boston area.

MA Reardon continued her work into the 1960s when she designed mosaics for at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC (1964-1966, 1970-1973), created a portrait of her brother Justice Paul C. Reardon of the Massachusetts Supreme Court (1966), and won the President’s Medal at the Second International Exposition of Sacred Art in Italy (1966). In the 1970s Reardon not only continued her work at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, but also designed the artwork for the new building of St. Mary’s Cathedral (c. 1973-1977). MA Reardon continued, in her relocated studio at 12 Martins Lane, Hingham, Massachusetts, her artwork into the 1980s when she designed mosaics for St. Louis Cathedral in St. Louis, Missouri.  It was during this period that she painted portrait of Humberto Cardinal Medeiros (c. 1979), Robert Gilmore MD (c. 1985) and Judge Francis P. Murphy (c. 1987). Although MA Reardon entered semi-retirement in the 1990s, she continued to practice her craft by taking part in art exhibits and designing artwork for churches near her home in Hingham, Massachusetts. These included St. Paul’s Church in Hingham (c. 1996) and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Cohasset, Massachusetts (c. 2000). She was honored for her work by Emmanuel College with a honorary doctorate in 1999. MA Reardon died on May 8, 2002, leaving behind an impressive artistic record of liturgical and 20th century artwork.

Scope and Content: This collection contains photographs, slides and original artwork of MA Reardon. It also contains correspondences, financial and travels documents, as well as, ephemera that was created and/or collected by MA Reardon throughout her life. The material, which covers the time period c. 1916 through c. 2001, covers the personal, educational and professional life of MA Reardon. The highlights include a photographic and correspondence record of Reardon’s parties, travel and artwork. The collection also contains original artwork by MA Reardon, including sketches of several commissioned works she did throughout her career.Among other formats contain within the collection are clippings, blueprints, photocopies and various publications. Finally, the collection contains material that would be of interest to anyone interested in liturgical art and/or the twentieth century.

Collection Arrangement: The collection is arranged into four series: 1. Photographic Material. 2. MA Reardon Original Artwork 3. Correspondences 4. Financial and Travel Documentation and Ephemera.

Note:The MA Reardon Collection contains some content that may be harmful or difficult to view. The material spans the history of the United States through the 20th century, and it is our charge to preserve and make available these historical records. As a result, some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions. In addition, some of the materials may relate to violent or graphic events and are preserved for their historical significance.

The Emmanuel College Archives is committed to working with staff, communities, and peer institutions to ensure harmful language is historically contextualized.

Emmanuel College Archives
Cardinal Cushing Library and Learning Commons, Room 202
Emmanuel College, 400 The Fenway | Boston, MA 02115
617-264-7606 | |

MA Reardon Collection

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Subject Headings

Reardon, Mary
see also: Reardon, Mary Agnes, 1912-2002
Reardon, Daniel B., d. 1961.
Reardon, George.
Reardon, Mary Cashman, d. 1952.
Reardon, Paul C.
Women artists--Massachusetts--Hingham.
Women artists--Massachusetts--Quincy.
Christian art and symbolism--20th century
Manners and customs--United States.
Manners and customs--History--20th century
Family Life—United States—20th century
Radcliffe College
Yale University. School of Fine Arts
Emmanuel College (Boston, Mass.)
St. John's Seminary (Brighton, Mass.)
Saint Mary's Cathedral (San Francisco, Calif.)
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Washington, D.C.)
Cathedral of Saint Louis (Saint Louis, Mo.) Photographs
Letter writing
Ephemera--United States--20th century
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