Louis Ross

Louis Ross (1901-1963)

Louis Ross
(1901-1963)

Hildreth Meière (1892-1961), 1941

Hildreth Meière
(1892-1961), 1941

Louis Ross was an artist and craftsman who specialized in gilding. He worked closely with Hildreth Meière for over two decades on projects including the altarpiece for St. John’s Grace Episcopal Church, Buffalo; three Fordham University Church altarpieces; over twenty-five triptychs, the map of the Journeys of St. Isaac Jogues in the New World for Duane Library at Fordham University, which he signed, and a Map of the Mississippi for the cabin class lounge of the S.S. United States. He is also credited with both gilding the altarpiece and carving the woodwork for the altarpiece Meière painted for St. Paul’s Chapel at Christ Church Cranbrook.

In describing Ross, Meière once remarked:

Lou Ross is lucky because he can run a camel hair brush across his whiskers and pick up enough static electricity to be able to lift the gold leaf with his brush.1

Meière painted a triptych with Louis Ross, the Ten Commandments and the Lions of Judah. First photographed at the Vanderbilt Mansion, it was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1941.2

Meière with Triptych 9, the Lions of Judah, that she painted with Louis Ross. Photograph taken at Vanderbilt Mansion, October 27, 1941

Meière with Triptych 9, the Lions of Judah, that she painted with Louis Ross. Photograph taken at Vanderbilt Mansion, October 27, 1941

Ross’s technique as a gilder can be seen in a film made in 1943 of Meière and Ross collaborating on Triptych 201, Nativity, now owned by the Huguenot Memorial Church in Pelham, New York.

Triptych 201, Nativity

Triptych 201, Nativity

The Citizens Committee for the Army and Navy printed color postcards of several of the triptychs on which Meière and Ross collaborated, including:

Triptych 9

Triptych 9

Triptych 10

Triptych 10

Triptych 14

Triptych 14

Triptych 25

Triptych 25

The history of these and other no longer extant triptychs can be seen in a typed history of triptychs executed by Hildreth Meière. There are also color slides of their imagery in the Hildreth Meière Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

1

Conversation with Louise Dunn, March 14, 2009 quoted in Catherine Coleman Brawer, Walls Speak: The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meière (St. Bonaventure, New York: St. Bonaventure University): 182.

2

See Brawer and Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière (New York: Andrea Monfried Editions, 2014): 204-07.