Before Edward Steichen became a seminal figure in 20th-century photography, he was a painter. From 1911 to 1914, Steichen painted seven large Art Nouveau panels – ten feet tall each – for the Park Avenue townhouse of Eugene Meyer and his wife Agnes. Sadly, the murals were never installed because of some financial setbacks that befell the Meyers. After passing through several owners’ hands, including the Museum of Modern Art, the murals ended up in the collection of Art Bridges, a non-profit founded by Alice Walton dedicated to sharing outstanding works of American Art.
The murals are inspired in part by Maurice Maeterlinck’s book, The Intelligence of Flowers, and features members of the Meyers’ and Steichen’s circle of friends, including Agnes Meyers, Isadora Duncan, Mercedes De Cordoba, and others, along with their floral counterparts. For the first time in a century, these monumental paintings were shown at the Dallas Museum of Art (2017) after their restoration.
Photographs by Steichen and his collaborator Alfred Stieglitz from the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s collection are on display opposite the murals.