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Kearney, Matthew, 1909-1973

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1909 - 1973

Biography

Matthew Kearney was born in Ireland in 1909. After immigrating to the United States, he made a career for himself as a gardener. Robert and Mildred Bliss hired Kearney in 1930, when their estate was still known as The Oaks and later Dumbarton Oaks. He worked under first superintendent William Gray and then, beginning in 1937, James Bryce. Around 1940 when Dumbarton Oaks transitioned to Harvard University, Kearney left briefly to work for Gude’s Nursery in Rockville, MD. Kearney returned, and in 1948, he took over as Superintendent of Gardens. He remained in charge of the gardens until his death in 1973. He is honored with a memorial plaque under a lead canopy on the stair landing between the Rose Garden and Fountain Terrace.

Found in 34 Collections and/or Records:

1964 bulb order for Mr. and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss's 1537 28th Street residence from Matthew Kearney to Ralph Cook, June 11, 1965 Digital

File — translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: Box: F, Folder: 3a, item: 31Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, F3a:BulbOrder 1965.06.11
Scope and Contents:

Typescript garden bulb order for 1964 with note added to return to Matthew Kearney's file. Order originally made attention to Mr. Ralph Cook.

1964 bulb order repeated in 1965 for Mr. and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss's 1537 28th Street residence from Matthew Kearney to John Scheepers, 37 Wall Street, New York City, June 29, 1965 Digital

File — translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: Box: F, Folder: 3a, item: 10Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, F3a:GardenOrder 1965.06.29
Scope and Contents:

Copy of typescript garden order made for 1964 to be repeated in 1965 sent by Matthew Kearney to John Scheepers, Inc. 37 Wall St. N.Y.C. The order were flowers plants intended for the Bliss residence on 28th Street.

Contact information for Cherry Hill Nursery, W. Newbery, Massachusetts and contractors and includes a list of plants, between 1948-1967 Digital

File — translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: Box: F, Folder: 3a, item: 15Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, F3a:NurseryContacts 19xx.xx.xx
Scope and Contents:

Handwritten contact information for Cherry Hill Nursery, contractors, and a list of plants. Plants include: Nora Cunningham roses, Orange Glow, Clematis recta, Washington Thorn, Spatefphilium, Geranium, and Spring Velose[?]. Information either created by Matthew Kearney or was intended for him.

Dumbarton Oaks Garden, Superintendent's Cottage

Sub-Series — Folder: 10Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001
Scope and Contents: Seven black and white photographs of The Superintendent’s Cottage, sometimes called the Gardener’s Cottage at Dumbarton Oaks. It fronts S Street, Washington, D.C. located just west of the Service Court gates.In 1923, Mildred Bliss suggested to her architects that they build a duplex to house the butler and the head gardener, William Gray and his family. Following her suggestion, they planned the small gabled house to be a part of the Service Court Quadrangle. However, when the...

Dumbarton Oaks interoffice communication from Mr. Thacher to Mrs. Bliss, subject: steps from North Bay, April 6, 1959 Digital

File — Box: L, Folder: 29Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, L:RH 1959.04.06
Scope and Contents: Typescript Dumbarton Oaks interoffice communication from John Thacher to Mildred Bliss about the steps from the North Bay. Mr. Phelps, the stone contractor, made full size drawings for the steps from the North Bay (possibly G-2-39). He will bring them up to Mr. Kearney. Phelps sent his bill for his work, approximately $500 to Miss Havey two years ago and has not been paid. He notifies Mildred Bliss that small models in the basement of the Fellows' Building have been destroyed after receiving...

Dumbarton Oaks memoranda regarding plant, shrubs, and flower orders, September 9, 1949 Digital

File — Box: C, Folder: 10, item: 77Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, C10:1949.09.09
Scope and Contents: Copy of typescript memoranda for the recording of plants, shrubs, flowers, etc. on index cards in the Dumbarton Oaks Garden Office. All specimens should be listed and copied with one copy sent to Matthew Kearney. The plant filing cards should include origin of plants, time of purchase, where it was purchased, time of planting, annual growth, and location. Any specimens not identified should be sent to the Arnold Arboretum for identification. A file drawer is to be ordered for plans coming...

Letter from Alberta Carpenter, Harvard University, The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Georgetown, Washington 7, D.C. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, August 23, 1949 Digital

File — Box: E, Folder: 7, item: 6Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, E7:Carpenter 1949.08.23
Scope and Contents:

Typescript letter with handwritten signature from Alberta S. Carpenter, secretary to Mildred Bliss tells her she has seen Annie and she seems to be doing better after the surgery. She has been receiving good care while at the Emergency Hospital. She reports that Mosser has his surgery and is anxious to return to work. Matthew Kearney is keeping in touch with him and will take him to see the doctor for his next appointment.

Letter from Buxton White, Whitehall Farm, Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Matthew Kearney, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., July 6, 1964 Digital

File — translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: Box: F, Folder: 3a, item: 26Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, F3a:White 1964.07.06
Scope and Contents:

Typescript letter from Buxton White to Matthew Kearney for the tour of the Dumbarton Oaks Garden for the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen and asks if Kearney could send him a brochure with more information on it.

Letter from Ellis Russell, 67 Wall Street, New York, N.Y. to Matthew Kearney, September 29 between 1948-1967 Digital

File — translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: Box: F, Folder: 3a, item: 27Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, F3a:ER 19xx.09.29
Scope and Contents:

Correspondence between Mildred Bliss and Matthew Kearney, the Superintendent of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens and Grounds.

Letter from Ellis Russell, 67 Wall Street, New York, N.Y. to Matthew Kearney, October 8 between 1948-1967 Digital

File — translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: Box: F, Folder: 3a, item: 28Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, F3a:ER 19xx.10.08
Scope and Contents:

Correspondence between Mildred Bliss and Matthew Kearney, the Superintendent of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens and Grounds.

Letter from Lanning Roper, Park House, Onslow Square, London, S.W.7. to Mildred Bliss, February 23, 1959 Digital

File — Box: H, Folder: 6, item: 2Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, H6:Roper 1959.02.23
Scope and Contents: Typescript letter on letterhead with handwritten note and signature from Lanning Roper to Mildred Bliss discussing an enclosed article on the Dumbarton Oaks Garden. He suggests that new black and white photographs be taken of the garden to be used with the article and suggests a photographer at Williamsburg that Alden Hopkins may arrange or the photographer at Longwood Gardens [Pennsylvania]. He lists suggested photographs in the garden.The article will be published in a Royal...

Letter from Mildred Bliss, Claridges, London to Mathew Kearney, Dumbarton Oaks, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., U.S.A., October 4, 1958 Digital

File — translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: Box: F, Folder: 3a, item: 24Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, F3a:MB 1958.10.04
Scope and Contents:

Correspondence between Mildred Bliss and Matthew Kearney, the Superintendent of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens and Grounds.

Letter from Mildred Bliss, Colony Club of New York, 564 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. to Matthew Kearney, June 27, 1958 Digital

File — translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: Box: F, Folder: 3a, item: 4Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, F3a:MB 1958.06.27
Scope and Contents:

Correspondence between Mildred Bliss and Matthew Kearney, the Superintendent of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens and Grounds.

Letter from Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, Claridges, Brook Street, W1 to Matthew Kearney, July 27, 1957? Digital

File — translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: Box: F, Folder: 3a, item: 3Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, F3a:MB 19xx.07.27
Scope and Contents:

Correspondence between Mildred Bliss and Matthew Kearney, the Superintendent of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens and Grounds.

Letter from Ruth Havey, Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, December 2, 1951 Digital

File — Box: E, Folder: 20, item: 9Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, E20:RH 1951.12.02B
Scope and Contents:

Letter from Ruth Havey to Mildred Bliss tells her she has gathered paving material for the Arbor Terrace, Byzantine Garden, and Melisande's Allee. She left samples with Matthew Kearney, and has copious notes to review with Mildred Bliss when she has time.

Letter from Ruth M. Havey, Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, between 1952-1953 Digital

File — Box: E, Folder: 19, item: 13Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, E19:RH undatedB
Scope and Contents:

Handwritten letter from Ruth Havey to Mildred Bliss reports on North Vista projects ready for construction contracts and final criticism: North Bay steps, consoles and North Court wall at house, gate finials, and consoles at North and South end of Cedar Terrace. After a meeting with Mr. Finelli, changes to the R Street gates are being made. She is sharing the Folio Room with Professor Albert M. Friend and Mr. Luciani is working in Matthew Kearney's office.

Letter from Ruth M. Havey, The Mayflower, Washington, D.C. to Mrs. Bliss, August 19, 1956 Digital

File — Box: L, Folder: 23Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, L:RH 1956.08.19
Scope and Contents: Handwritten letter from Ruth Havey to Mildred Bliss telling her that the "vision of loveliness" she wanted in the Arbor Terrace will be there with a few weeks to spare. The foundation for the scrolls is in and the general proportions promist to work out well; the drainage and grading are on pace; the shop drawings are finished; the Doria is to arrive; and the shop is cleared to start cutting. The planting has been mapped and Mr. Kearney will travel somewhere south of her to locate it. Havey...

Letter from Ruth M. Havey, Twenty-five Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, 1537 Twenty-eighth Street, Georgetown, Washington 7, D.C., June 2, 1951 Digital

File — Box: K, Folder: 21Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, K:RH 1951.06.02
Scope and Contents: Typescript letter with handwritten signature from Ruth Havey to Mildred Bliss reports the moulded capping below the rail at the North Vista was sent to Mr. Steinbraker. She sent Mr. Kearney a copy of the enclosed letter to Steinbraker so that he can be ready to grade up to it inside the wall. Havey acknowledges Mildred's message that the chains had not arrived and sent on to Mr. Patterson. He wished to place the order for the chains and she does not know what arrangements he has made. She...

Letter from Ruth M. Havey, Twenty-five Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, 1537 Twenty-eighth Street, Georgetown, Washington 7, D.C. and Dumbarton Oaks Agenda, November 19,1949, November 19-20, 1949 Digital

File — Box: K, Folder: 8Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, K:RH 1949.11.20
Scope and Contents: Typescript handsigned letter from Ruth Havey to Mildred Bliss offering the Dumbarton Oaks Agenda on the status of work at Dumbarton Oaks on the Finalities, Terrior [Column and Enclosure] wood seat and landscaping; North Vista finials wall chains; and north end; Arbor Garden wall panels, paving and sundial; Melisande Steps; and Perspective.Havey discusses the numbering and filing of drawings indicating that she is using the continuation of the system used in the Bar Harbor files...

Letter from Ruth M. Havey, Twenty-five Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, 1537 Twenty-eighth Street, Georgetown, Washington 7, D.C. and Report on the status of the North Vista finials and consoles, January 20, 1952-April 16, 1952 Digital

File — Box: K, Folder: 31Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, K:JT 1952.04.16
Scope and Contents: Typescript letters with handwritten signatures from Ruth Havey to Mildred Bliss discusses an enclosed Dumbarton Oaks Agenda of April 15th giving an active and inactive list of various projects under consideration. This list has been separated from letter and has accesion number of K:RH 1952.04.15. Havey outlines a schedule for the contractors for erecting the North Vista finials, consoles, and rail and hopes it meets with Mildred Bliss's approval. Mr. Steinbraker and Mr. Phelps are to erect...

Letter from Ruth M. Havey, Twenty-five Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, 1537 Twenty-eighth Street, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., January 22, 1953 Digital

File — Box: L, Folder: 3Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, L:RH 1953.01.22
Scope and Contents: Typescript letter with handwritten signature from Ruth Havey to Mildred Bliss enclosing notes took in Washington November 28th to December 3rd on available materials and methods of paving the Arbor Terrace, the Byzantine Church Garden, and the Mélisande steps. She says that extensive advice for paving came from Mr. J.R. Kennedy of the Earley Studio, Inc. who is anxious to do the work and offered to make up samples of paving in any color or texture wanted. A box of paving material samples was...

Letter from Ruth M. Havey, Twenty-five Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, 1537 Twenty-eighth Street, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., June 6, 1950 Digital

File — Box: K, Folder: 16Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, K:RH 1950.06.06
Scope and Contents: Typescript letter with handwritten signature from Ruth Havey to Mildred Bliss sending Mildred three copies of letters sent to Matthew Kearney and G. Frederick Coles on June 6, 1950 discussing the continuation of work on the Finalities in the Rose Garden and the niche panels in Arbor Terrace. One letter Havey sent to Matthew Kearney, 3201 S. Street, Georgetown, Washington 7, D.C. she encloses a copy of her letter to Coles and asks to please decide with him where he will work and have on hand...

Letter from Ruth M. Havey, Twenty-five Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, 1537 Twenty-eighth Street, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., December 28, 1954 Digital

File — Box: L, Folder: 15Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, L:RH 1954.12.28
Scope and Contents: Typescript letter from Ruth Havey to Mildred Bliss offers thanks for holiday greetings and returns affectionate thoughts and good wishes to her and Robert Bliss. She reports spending Christmas in Boston. Havey tells her the reconstruction of the arbor in the Arbor Terrace is on schedule with the contract signed with Lank Construction Co. and expected substantial completion by February 15th. The Box Terrace paving drawings are about done and Havey will ask Mr. Kearney to find a contractor for...

Letter from Ruth M. Havey, Twenty-five Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, 1537 Twenty-eighth Street, N.W., Georgetown, Washington 7, D.C., August 1, 1961 Digital

File — Box: L, Folder: 36Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, L:RH 1961.08.01
Scope and Contents: Typescript letter with handwritten signature from Ruth Havey to Mildred Bliss telling her she was studying a detail of the flowers on an inlaid marble table I have for the Tennis Court Bouquet, and it might be used in some way in the center of the Arbor Terrace. Havey may be referring to design in drawings P-2-13A and P-2-13B. There may be another possible source for colored stones from a granite company that produces "pebbles" by tumbling small pieces in a machine until they become...

Letter from Ruth M. Havey, Twenty-five Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y. to Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, The Colonial Inn, Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, September 10, 1954 Digital

File — Box: L, Folder: 13Identifier: DDO-RB-GAR-001, L:RH 1954.09.10
Scope and Contents: Typescript letter with handwritten signature discusses being in Washington on September 16th to work up full size dummies for the balustrade and arbor base and stake out the paving in the Arbor Garden for Mildred to see on the 18th. She wants to confirm that Mildred does want the yew hedge removed, so she can see the designs against the balcony and the gate better. The yews are to be discarded with the exception of the four large ones which if used elsewhere Mr. Kearney would prefer to move...