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Ravenna Mosaic Company Records [DOC REC 50] Edit

Summary

Identifier
DOC REC 50

Dates

  • 1900-1989 (Creation)
  • 1950-1980 (Creation)
  • Date acquired: 1992-05-15 (Creation)

Extents

  • 24.00 Linear Feet (Whole)

Agent Links

Notes

  • Abstract

    Arrangement is alphabetical and/or chronological.

  • Source of Acquisition

    Ravenna Mosaic Company

  • Method of Acquisition

    The story of the acquisition of the Ravenna collection by Saint Louis University begins with a friendship that developed nearly fifty years ago between  Father Maurice McNamee, S. J., a member of the English and art history faculties at Saint Louis University, and  Paul and Arno Heuduck, father and son, and owners of the Ravenna Mosaic Company of St. Louis.  Although Father McNamee's formal academic training was in literature, he had a life-long interest in art and architecture.  In fact, the pilot art program he developed at Saint Louis University eventually became the formal art department for the University.  Father McNamee would often take his classes to visit the Ravenna Mosaic studio on Grand Avenue and Emil Frei's art glass studio on Meramec Street, both in south St. Louis.

    In 1975, three years after Paul Heuduck passed away, Arno Heuduck left St. Louis and moved to Fredricktown, Missouri, with the intention of retiring from the mosaic business.  The project that had brought Paul Heuduck to St. Louis in the first place and that had resulted in the creation of the Ravenna Mosaic Company was the mosaic work at the St. Louis (New) Cathedral.  The Cathedral mosaics had sustained the Ravenna Company financially for more than fifty years,  but the work remained unfinished and it did not appear that the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis had the resources to complete the project.  But the Archdiocese suddenly made a commitment to finish the mosaic project, so Arno built a new studio next to his home in Fredricktown, hired local artists to assist him, and set to work to complete the Cathedral mosaics.  Father McNamee worked very closely with Arno during this last phase of the Cathedral project.

    Arno passed away in 1988, approximately three months after the last mosaic panel had been installed at the St. Louis Cathedral.  Father McNamee remained in touch with Del Heuduck, Arno's widow, and learned of her plans to close down the family's mosaic business.  Due primarily to Father McNamee's long friendship with the Heuduck family, Del Heuduck decided in May, 1992, to donate more than thirty records center boxes of Ravenna's business records and three mosaic panels to the Saint Louis University Archives in Pius XII Memorial Library.

  • Preferred Citation

    Saint Louis University Archives. DOC REC 50 (Ravenna Mosaic Company Records)

  • Related Materials

    "Notes Toward a History of the Ravenna Mosaic Company" by graduate student Robert Blaskiewicz. In this document the early history of the company is reconstructed from the corporate contact list; this section is followed by chronologically arranged notes taken mainly from the contract files. This document is housed in the collection (administrative) files.

    See also The Ravenna Mosaic Company: A Retrospective digital exhibition curated by graduate student Robert Blaskiewicz: http://libraries.slu.edu/a/digital_collections/ravenna/ravenna_index.htm

    See also the archives of Puhl and Wagner, Gottfried Heinersdorff, housed at the Berlinische Galerie Museum of Modern Art, Berlin, Germany. http://www.berlinischegalerie.de/en/collection/architecture/the-collection/archives/puhl-und-wagner/

  • Scope and Contents

    This collection encompasses all the surviving corporate records of the Ravenna Mosaic Company of St. Louis, MO, which executed some of the most renowned mosaic decoration of religious and commercial buildings in the United States. 

    Although the firm was founded in 1923, extant contract files in the Contracts and Estimates Series date from 1949 to 1988.  Summary details of earlier jobs are available in the Contracts folders of the Working (Subject) Files Series.  The Sketches and Architectural Drawings Series contains visual material related to mosaic jobs.

    Further information about the company, its work, and the art of mosaics makes up the Newspaper and Magazine Clippings Series as well as the Publications and Pamphlets Series.

Components