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Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Monterrey, Mexico

Charles Eames


Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Monterrey, Mexico is the only known example of an oil painting by Charles while living in Mexico. He gifted it to his mother, then living with his sister and brother-in-law, where it held pride of place in their home for many years. The painting was passed to Charles’s goddaughter and niece, Adele Marie Crispin, who also cherished it. When asked why she was so fond of the painting, a friend suggested, “Is it because it was by Charlie?” Adele replied, “No, because it’s such a good painting.”

The painting is signed “C.O. Eames ’34” in the lower left corner.

  • Medium:Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:36 x 24 in. (91.4 x 61 cm)
  • Item:2019.1.51
Curatorial Notes
In 1933, frustrated by the Depression and lack of architectural work in America, Charles left his wife, Catherine Woermann, and young daughter, Lucia, and spent eight months in Mexico (primarily San Luis Potosí and Monterrey). With very little money and knowing no Spanish, Charles relied upon local hospitality for lodging and often repaid his hosts with his drawings and paintings. He recorded his own impressions of the sights, sounds, and architecture of the country. Charles may have been interested in rendering this cathedral due to its eclectic mix of Baroque and Neoclassical architectural styles. However, his focus in this composition is the sun-drenched facade of the tall building and diminutive figures who have come to worship or have arrived on a pilgrimage to this holy destination.

Rachael Blackburn Cozad