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Author/Artist Mary of the Compassion, 1908-1977.
Title Sister Mary of the Compassion [Constance Mary Rowe] Collection, circa 1959-1970s.
Description 0.21 linear ft. (1 box)
Arrangement The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Location Call Number Vol./Copy Status Information
 Frick Archives  MS.039    AVAILABLE BY APPT
Access restrictions These records are open for research by appointment under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Access Policy. For all inquiries or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Archives Department at
Summary Greeting cards, holy cards, photographs, postcards and clippings document some of the work of the artist Sister Mary of the Compassion, formerly known as Constance Mary Rowe. Holy cards and greeting cards that were designed and made by Sister Mary form the bulk of the collection. The photographs and postcards depict seven of Sister Mary's oil paintings. The art work in this collection portrays religious subjects, including saints, the crucifixion, and nativity scenes. The collection also contains clippings with biographical information and descriptions of Sister Mary's work, as well as her memorial prayer card. The material in this collection was gathered by Clifford J. Brooks.
Biographical/historical note Sister Mary of the Compassion (1908-1977), an artist formerly known as Constance Mary Rowe, studied at the Clapham School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, and won the Prix de Rome in 1932 for mural painting. She entered the Community of the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary, also known as the Blue Chapel, in Union City, N.J. in 1938. While known primarily for her religious paintings, Sister Mary also designed and printed greeting and holy cards, and created silver and gold jewelry, mosaic reredos, embroidered panels, and costumes and sets for an opera performed by the Music Department of Hunter College, New York in the 1950s. Her works, both religious and secular, were often sold to support the monastery. Sister Mary also wrote "An Artist's Notebook," which was published in 1948, and illustrated a number of books. She died on December 6, 1977.
Cite as Sister Mary of the Compassion [Constance Mary Rowe] Collection. The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Source of acquisition Gift of Clifford J. Brooks, 2011.
Finding aids Available online and in repository.
LC subject Mary of the Compassion, 1908-1977.
Dominican Sisters of the Perpetual Rosary.
Art, American.
Christian art and symbolism.
Holy cards.
Nuns as artists.
Saints in art.
Union City (N.J.)
Genre/Form Greeting cards.
WorldCat no. 793519796

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