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Matthew Kearney

Kearney, Matthew

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. 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.



1940 United States Census (Population Schedule), Prince George’s County, Maryland; p. 33B, Line 79, Matthew Kearney household; digital images, (, accessed August 5, 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 1557.

Garden Archives Correspondence.