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Lilian Westcott Hale   Click Images to Enlarge

Lilian Westcott Hale
Full-Length Portrait of a Woman,
circa 1907

Graphite on paper
22 ½ x 14 inches


(American, 1881-1963)

Lilian Westcott Hale's mentor Edmund Tarbell exclaimed after seeing her drawings in the one-woman 1908 Boston show, “Your drawings are perfectly beautiful—as fine as anything could be. They belong with our old friends Leonardo, Holbein and Ingres, and are to me the finest modern drawings I have ever seen” (Philip Hale Papers, Box 53a, Folder 1444, SSC) and William H. Downes wrote on January 22, 1908 in The Boston Transcript that her drawings were superior to the work of the most admired artists Paul Helleu and Charles Dana Gibson and that they had “a distinct elegance of style.” In fact, Lilian Westcott Hales drawings are considered more important than her oils because her drawings are poetically tender and remarkably rendered with sensitivity.

Lilian Westcott Hale was born Lilian Clark Westcott December 7, 1881 in Hartford, CT. She first studied with William Merritt Chase and the American Magazine of Art (vol. 19, #2, Feb. 1927, p. 61) states that he was “afraid to interfere with what she was doing” (taken from Dictionary of Artists in the Boston school, see Pierce, Edmund C. Tarbell and the Boston School, 1980, p. 163). She also studied with Edmund C. Tarbell at the Museum School in Boston and with Philip Leslie Hale at the school (who she married at the age of 20). Tarbell, Hale, Chase and Elizabeth Stevens were major influences on Hale's development as an artist and she is arguably (with Gretchen Rogers) one of the finest draftsman of the Boston school. Typical subject matter included portraiture, genre interiors and outdoor subject animated with figures drawn to perfection and delicately refined in nature.

Hale was a member of National Academy (ANA 1927, NA 1931), the Rockport AA, Conn. Academy of Fine Art, Concord AA, Guild of Boston Artists, Portrait Painters, Grand Central Art Galleries, American Federation of Art and more.

Solo exhibitions included Rowlands Galleries (Boston 1908), Arlington Galleries (ca. 1910), Guild of Boston Artists (1916, 1920, 1923, 1925, 1916 and a Memorial Exhibition in 1966), Corcoran Gallery (Wash., DC 1919) and Grand Central Galleries (NY 1925).

Awards include Hartford Scholarship, MFA (1901); Gold medal and Medal of Honor, Pan-Pacific Expo., San Fran. (1915); Palmer Gold medal, Art Institute of Chicago (1920); Beck Gold Medal, PAFA (1923); Shaw Prize, NAD (1924); Medal of Honor, Concord AA (1925); 1 st Altman Prize, NAD (1927); medal, Buenos Aires Exposition (1941) and more.

Married artist Philip Leslie Hale, June 11, 1902. Resided at the Fenway Studios, Boston. One daughter, Nancy.