The mural in the auditorium.
The Artist: Robert Lewis Reid (1862-1929)
Robert Reid was commissioned to paint a mural specifically for the auditorium lunette at Springfield.s
Central High School in 1909. It was created at the height of the artist.s career. Born in Stockbridge, MA,
Reid studied at the art schools of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Students. League, New York
and under Boulanger and Lefebvre in Paris. He was a member of the Ten American Painters and of the
National Institute of Arts and Letters. He is represented in the permanent collections of the Corcoran
Gallery in Washington, the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Brooklyn Institute Museum, the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the National Gallery of Art Washington, DC and many others.
Robert Reid did many paintings, but only six murals, five of the murals are on display with our mural
the only one currently not displayed. These murals are in the Massachusetts State House, Library of
Congress, Appellate Court, New York, Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and the Liberal Arts
Building of the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Robert Reid has a direct connection to Springfield. His brother, Charles Dwight Reid lived and worked
in Springfield for many years. Their mother was descended from the founding families of the city,
William Pynchon and Col. Joseph Dwight. Reid.s radiant mural, The Light of Education, featured his
ancestor, William Pynchon, the pilgrim and merchant, who in 1636 sailed up the Connecticut River to
create Agawam Plantation, a settlement that in 1640, he would rename for his birthplace, Springfield,
England. The artist, it is said, painted his great-great-grandfather.s face exactly as it had been captured
in a portrait on exhibit at the Essex, Massachusetts Museum. He depicted the founder of the city,
standing on a hill at dawn, arms reaching out to Native Americans and a young peioneer family, amid
allegorical figures, symbolizing the Spirit of Learning.