The Great Hall is the first large room at Meadow Brook Hall, designed to welcome and impress guests.
The Great Hall
If you’ve just arrived, proceed down the stairs (or use the elevator behind the front desk to go to LL) to begin your tour.
“I have taken a great deal of pride in feeling that this home is an American product, even though it was adopted from the early English period, since all woodwork carvings and all fixtures were done by American artists.” – Matilda Wilson
The first large room visitors see as they enter Meadow Brook Hall, the Great Hall makes the first great statement of the Tudor-revival style: the immense Kingwood stone fireplace with the Wilson family coat of arms on the chimney, the stout oak beams in the ceiling, the stone floor and the linen-fold paneling in the alcove all hint to what the guest has in store.
Above the black Italian cassone (wedding chest), a 1936 portrait by George Ford Morris of Mrs. Wilson’s daughter, Frances Dodge, hangs on the red velvet drapery which conceals the three-story sound chamber for the organ.
Other paintings in the Great Hall include an Italian Renaissance “Madonna and Child” by Raffaellino Del Garbo (b.1476 – d.1524), a hunt scene (c.1821) by John Ferneley, a landscape by Alfred Bierstadt, and a large portrait of Frances and Danny Dodge by Arkansas artist Louis Betts done in 1927.