Celebrating Couples Day
What better way to celebrate Couples Day than with one of St. Louis’ many artistic couples? Today we share works by Philip and Mary Hallett Gronemeyer. 

Both Philip and Mary were St. Louis natives who began their art studies here, but they did not meet until they attended classes together at the Pratt Institute in New York. Philip was studying painting and drawing, while Mary studied painting, leather tooling and woodworking.
Mary Hallett Gronemeyer (1893 - 1985), Missouri Landscape, oil on board, ca. 1950
Philip Gronemeyer (1891 - 1965), Cityscape, watercolor, not dated
In the early 1920s they returned to St. Louis to build their careers. Philip had a history of teaching art, first at a boys school and then, after returning to St. Louis, at Soldan-Blewett High School. Mary was hired as a fashion illustrator for a department store. This ad in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from December 9, 1934, announced the current exhibition of paintings and sculpture by the Society of Independent Artists and invited visitors to the demonstration of watercolor painting by Mary Hallett Gronemeyer.  The February 16, 1956 Post-Dispatch included an article about a dual exhibition of the Gronemeyer’s artwork at the Monday Club. While we may cringe at the paper’s description of the exhibitors as “St. Louis Teacher of 33 Years Service and His Wife”, it is important to remember the different roles women had in the 1950s. It is to her credit that Mary Hallett Gronemeyer built her career despite the limitations placed on her by society.
Both Philip and Mary Hallett were very active in the St. Louis and regional art world.  Both were members of the St. Louis Society of Independent Artists, the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, the St. Louis Art League, and the St. Louis Watercolor Club. Philip was also president and founder of the St. Louis County Art Association. In 1956, both of the Gronemeyers had works in the St. Louis Artists’ Guild exhibition loaned to the Midwestern University Museum in Wichita Falls, Texas.  Their contribution to the city’s cultural heritage is well documented, as is that of other talented St. Louis artistic couples.
Mary Hallett Gronemeyer (1893 -1985), Woodlands, oil on board, ca. 1950
Philip Gronemeyer (1891-1965), House Through the Trees, watercolor, not dated
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