Merrill G. Wheelock

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Masonic Temple (built 1867), corner Boylston Street and Tremont Street, Boston; designed by M.G. Wheelock

Merrill Greene Wheelock (1822–1866) was an artist and architect in Boston, Massachusetts in the 19th century. He served in the Massachusetts infantry in the American Civil War.[1]


Wheelock exhibited at the Boston Art Club (1857)[2] and the Boston Athenaeum.[3] Among his early supporters was James Elliot Cabot.[4] Wheelock was especially known for watercolors: he "has a local reputation of being our best painter in that department, his pictures being full of brilliant color."[5] In 1852 he kept a studio on Tremont Row, and in 1858 on Summer Street.[6]

In 1865 Wheelock designed the architecture of Boston's new Masonic Temple, which would move a few blocks down Tremont Street, from Temple Place to the corner of Boylston Street. Illness prevented him from completing the design, finished by architect George F. Meacham and built in 1867.[7]

One of Wheelock's watercolor landscape paintings appeared in the 1881 exhibit of the Boston Art Club. A contemporary reviewer commented: "Wheelock is almost forgotten, although it is not so very many years since he died. But this watercolor shows that he has well-grounded claims upon our remembrance. It will certainly be better for his fame to know him by his paintings, than by such architectural absurdities as the Masonic Temple."[8]

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roll of honor of the city of Chelsea: A list of the soldiers and sailors who served on the quota of Chelsea, in the great Civil War for preservation of the Union from 1861 to 1865. H. Mason & son, printers, 1880; p.182
  2. ^ "Thieves steal pictures..." Cf. Domestic Art Gossip. The Crayon, Vol. 4, No. 5 (May, 1857); p.157.
  3. ^ Dwights Journal of Music
  4. ^ cf. correspondence with R.W. Emerson, 1849. In: The letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Columbia University Press, 1939
  5. ^ Domestic Art Gossip. The Crayon, Vol. 4, No. 12 (Dec., 1857); p.378-379.
  6. ^ Boston Directory, 1852; Boston Almanac, 1858.
  7. ^ William D. Stratton. Dedication memorial of the new Masonic temple, Boston. Lee & Shepard, 1868.
  8. ^ S. R. Koehler. Boston Art Club. Twenty-Fourth Exhibition. American Art Review, Vol. 2, No. 9 (Jul., 1881)

Further reading[edit]

Works illustrated by Wheelock[edit]

Works about Wheelock[edit]

  • Appletons' annual cyclopaedia and register of important events: Embracing political, military, and ecclesiastical affairs; public documents; biography, statistics, commerce, finance, literature, science, agriculture, and mechanical industry, Volume 6. D. Appleton and company, 1867; p. 582.
  • Samuel L. Gerry. Old Masters of Boston. New England Magazine, v.3, no.6, Feb. 1891.
  • George C. Groce and David H. Wallace. The New-York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1957.
  • Sinclair Hamilton. Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers, 1670-1870: A catalogue of a collection of American books illustrated for the most part with woodcuts and wood engravings in the Princeton University Library. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1958-1968.

External links[edit]