A Finding Aid to the Lee Hall Papers, circa 1870-2017, bulk 1975-2010, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.halllee
Creators:
Hall, Lee
Dates:
circa 1870s-2017
bulk 1975-2010
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
7.4 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of painter, author, and arts administrator Lee Hall measure 7.4 linear feet and date from circa 1870-2017, bulk 1975 to 2010. The papers document Hall's career through biographical material, correspondence, writings, studio records, printed material, photographic material, and artwork. Included is significant documentation on Hall's book projects, including biographies of Betty Parsons, Abe Ajay, and Willem and Elaine de Kooning.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter, author, and arts administrator Lee Hall measure 7.4 linear feet and date from circa 1870-2017, bulk 1975 to 2010. The papers document Hall's career through biographical material, correspondence, writings, studio records, printed material, photographic material, and artwork. Included is significant documentation on Hall's book projects, including biographies of Betty Parsons, Abe Ajay, and Willem and Elaine de Kooning.
Biographical material includes business cards, résumé and biographical texts, travel documents, and awards. Correspondence is professional and personal in nature and includes some collected historic correspondence from unknown authors. Correspondence regarding specific writing projects is found in the Writings series. The Writings series includes journals and notebooks focusing primarily on Hall's travels and study of Classics including the Greek language. The Writing Projects subseries includes titles intended for publication as well as college papers, essays, and lectures. Published titles are often accompanied by book proposals, contracts, research material, interviews, and correspondence. Also included are writings by others including reviews regarding Hall's art career. Studio records include artwork inventories, loan paperwork, and the mechanical for an exhibition catalog. Printed material includes exhibition invitations for Lee Hall's art career, exhibition catalogs for Hall's exhibitions and that of Betty Parsons, and general printed material regarding Elaine de Kooning, as well as press clippings on various topics. Photographic materials include images of Lee Hall and her circle of friends including Betty Parsons, images of Hall in her studio, installation images of Hall's exhibitions at the Betty Parsons Gallery, and extensive photographs of Hall's travels to the Mediterranean, primarily to Greece and Turkey. The Artwork series includes sketches, watercolors and other small paintings by Lee, as well as illustrated manuscripts for children's book titles.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged in seven series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1970-2010 (0.2 Linear Feet; Boxes 1, 7)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1870-2016 (0.3 Linear Feet; Box 1)
  • Series 3: Writings, circa 1920-2010 (4.0 Linear Feet; Boxes 1-5)
  • Series 4: Studio Records, circa 1973-2010 (0.2 Linear Feet; Box 5)
  • Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1914-2016 (0.4 Linear Feet; Boxes 5, 7)
  • Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1940-2017 (1.7 Linear Feet; Boxes 5-9)
  • Series 7: Artwork, circa 1950-2010 (0.6 Linear Feet; Boxes 6-7, Oversize 10)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Lee Hall (1935-2017) was a painter, author, and arts administrator who served as president of the Rhode Island School of Design from 1975-1983. Born in Lexington, North Carolina and raised in Florida following her parents' divorce, Lee Hall later returned to her birth state to attend the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina. She received her bachelor of fine arts in 1955, studying under the abstract painter John Opper. She eventually earned a masters degree in art education and a PhD in creative arts, both from New York University. Hall's paintings shared an Abstract Expressionist sensibility common with many of her peers at the Betty Parsons Gallery, imparted on the figurative tradition of landscape painting. Hall showed her paintings at the Betty Parsons Gallery from the late seventies until 1982 when the gallery closed following Parsons' death, after which she ceased exhibiting her work almost entirely until the last decade of her life. Hall maintained a studio at her home in South Hadley, Massachusetts throughout her life. A few years before Parson's death Hall had agreed to write Parsons' biography, finally released in 1991, on the condition that she and papers were made available for intensive research. Hall published titles on a wide variety of subjects including a comprehensive survey of American clothing (1992), and perhaps most notably the controversial biography of painters Elaine and Willem de Kooning (1993).

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Ryan Evans in 2019.
Separated Materials
Three linear feet of Betty Parsons papers donated as part of the Lee Hall papers were transferred to the collection of Betty Parsons Gallery records and personal papers, also located at the Archives of American Art.
Author
Ryan Evans
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated in 2018 by the Lee Hall Estate via Carolyn Crozier and Deborah Jacobson, co-executors.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Preferred Citation
Lee Hall Papers, circa 1870s-2017. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- Massachusetts Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Authors -- Massachusetts Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arts administrators -- Rhode Island Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rhode Island School of Design Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Parsons, Betty Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Betty Parsons Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ajay, Abe Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Kooning, Elaine Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/