MCLEARY, KINDRED (1901–1949). Kindred McLeary, artist, the son of Dr. Samuel and Mamie (Kindred) McLeary, was born in Weimar, Texas, on December 3, 1901. He graduated from Allen Academy in Bryan with the highest grade average ever made by a student at that school. He studied architecture at the University of Texas and graduated in 1927. At different times he also studied at the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts near Paris and at the American Academy in Rome. While teaching at the University of Texas in 1928, McLeary entered one of his paintings, Cotton, in a national art exhibit sponsored by the late Mrs. Henry Drought in the Witte Memorial Museumqv, San Antonio. The picture showed a black woman reclining in a field of cotton with several men standing around her, one of them strumming a guitar. Some artists and ministers attacked the picture as obscene, but Eleanor R. Onderdonk,qv art curator of the museum,defended it and kept it hanging throughout the juried exhibit. The controversy dominated the front pages of San Antonio newspapers for several days.
McLeary began teaching architecture at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in Pittsburgh in the fall of 1928 and remained there until his death on May 29, 1949, in a fall from the roof of the studio he had built himself near Confluence, Pennsylvania. He had become well known as a muralist in the northeastern United States. America the Mighty (1941), or "Defense of Human Freedoms" as McLeary called it, his best-known mural, is a twelve-by-fifty-foot depiction of war scenes. It is in the Twenty-first Street lobby of the United States Department of State building in Washington and was covered from 1954 to 1977 because its theme was considered inappropriate to the site, which had housed the War Department when the mural was painted. McLeary painted murals in Pittsburgh, in the Madison Avenue Post Office in New York City, in the Somerset County, Pennsylvania, library, and elsewhere. At the time of his death he had dozens of paintings that had not been framed. They were collected by his sister, and many of them were hung in her home.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Truman McMahan, "McLeary, Kindred," accessed July 27, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmccy.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.