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 Arthur William Hall  (1889 - 1981)

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Kansas/Arizona      Known for: drypoint etching of southwest scenes, painting

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Ad Code: 3
Arthur William Hall
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following was submitted June, 2002, by Denise Morris, Art Appraiser of Eldorado, Kansas.

Born in Bowie, Texas in 1899, Arthur Hall spent his childhood in Oklahoma and Virginia.  He began his professional training at the Chicago Art Institute, where he met his future wife Norma Bassett.  Hall's early career was interrupted by World War I.  While serving with the infantry in southern France, however, Hall was exposed for the first time to the beauties of that region.

Following the war in 1921, Hall moved to El Dorado, Kansas, and became a court reporter for the Thirteenth Judicial District.  He had learned stenography as a student, and his skill provided him a ready means of employment.  Hall married Norma Bassett in 1922, and the couple continued to make their home in El Dorado until 1925.

In 1925, the Halls traveled to Europe where they spent almost two years studying and sketching in England, Scotland, and on the French Riviera. While in Scotland, they met the noted English etcher E. S. Lumsden and his wife Mable Royds, who was a well-known blockprint artist. A warm friendship ensued, and the Halls spent a year studying in the Lumsden studio. During this period, Hall completed his first etchings and drypoints.

After two years in Europe, the Halls returned to El Dorado, and Arthur resumed his job as a court reporter.  This position was ideally suited to his artistic interests since the annual two month summer court recess allowed ample time for extended sketching trips.  The Halls became active participants in the Wichita circle of artists, which eventually formed the Prairie Printmakers.

During the late thirties, the Halls moved to Virginia where they built a home and intended to live near Arthur's family.  The outbreak of World War II changed their plans, and they returned to briefly to Kansas before settling in Santa Fe in 1944.  In Santa Fe, the Halls lived and worked in a two-hundred year old adobe house that had been the home of Gearld Cassidy.  They remained in Santa Fe until 1950 when they purchased Rancho del Rio, an estate near Alcalde a village between Santa Fe and Taos.  Here they operated and art school and studio.

Norma died in 1957, and Hall married Glada Lockhart in 1963.  The school was sold shortly after that, and Hall gave up printmaking and worked exclusively in watercolor.  He died at the age of 91 in 1981 in Sun City, Arizona.

Hall's images reflect the influence of the years he spent in France, Kansas, the South and the Southwest.  His prints are normally identified in the plate by his name or less frequently by initials. In some work the year also appears in the plate.  The prints are signed in pencil below the right corner of the image.  The title if given is penciled beneath the left corner of the image. In isolated cases, the total number in the edition may also appear in pencil below the image.

Halls achieved a national reputation as a printmaker. Aside from his charter membership in the Prairie Printmakers, he held memberships in the Society of American Etchers, the Chicago Society of Etchers, the New York Society of Etchers, and the Printmakers Society of California.  His works were selected as gifts for the Printmakers of California in 1930, the Prairie Printmakers in 1932, and the Chicago Society of Etchers in 1944.

Among the awards given to Hall prints were the Bryan Prize for the best group of American Prints at the Eighth International Exposition of Prints in Los Angeles in 1927; gold and bronze medals in 1929; and 1932 from the Kansas City Art Institute. His drypoint Field Hand earned the Henry B. Shope Prize for the best etching in the Annual Exhibition of the Society of American Etchers in 1937.  His prints are included in such important collections as Bibliothezue Nationale of Paris, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kansas City Art Institute, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1924; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1925; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1929; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1930; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1931; Midwestern Artists Exhibition, 1932; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1933; 14th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1938; Smithsonian Institute; Library of Congress; California State Library; Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
Society of American Etchers; Chicago Society of Etchers; New York Society of Etchers; California Society of Etchers; Prairie Print Makers; Southern States Art League; charter member of California Print Makers.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Bowie, TX, October 30, 1899; died Sun City, AZ, 1981. Painter. Etcher. Dry point. Spent his childhood in Oklahoma and Virginia. Studied at the Art Institute of Chicago; abroad with E. S. Lumsden, Edinburgh and for two years in France. Moved to El Dorado in 1921 where he was court stenographer and clerk. In 1925 Hall and his wife traveled to Europe where they spent nearly two years studying and sketching. The Halls returned to Kansas living in Howard for many years and active participants in the Wichita area circle of artists. He made the presentation print for the California Society of Print Makers in 1930, for the Prairie Print Makers in 1932, and for the Chicago Society of Etchers in 1944. During the late 1930s, the Halls moved to Virginia then returned briefly to Kansas and then settled in Santa Fe in 1942. They remained in Santa Fe until 1950 when they purchased an estate near Alcade, NM where they operated an art school and studio.
Bryan Prize for best group of American prints at International Exhibition, Los Angeles, 1927; Bronze medal for etching, Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1932; Silver medal for drypoint, Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1933; Shope prize, 1937.

Sandzén Memorial Art Gallery; Bibliotheque Nationale; Library of Congress; Kansas City Art Institute; Art Institute of Chicago

Society of American Etchers; Chicago Society of Etchers; New York Society of Etchers; California Society of Etchers; Prairie Print Makers; Southern States Art League; charter member of California Print Makers.

Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Newlin, Gertrude Dix (Development of Art in Kansas. Typed Manuscript, 1951); Festival of Kansas Arts and Crafts. Catalog: Arts and Crafts of Kansas: an Exhibition held in Lawrence, Feb. 18-22, 1948 in the Community Building. Lawrence: World Co., 1948 il; Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1936- v.1=1936-37 v.3= 1941-42 v.2=1938-39 v.4=1940-47. 1, 2, 3, 4; Sain, Lydia. Kansas Artists, compiled by Lydia Sain from 1932 to 1948. Typed Manuscript, 1948.; Reinbach, Edna, comp. “Kansas Art and Artists”, in Collections of the Kansas State Historical Society. v. 17, 1928. p. 571-585.; Cone, Mary Ellen. The Status of Kansas Literature and Art. Typed manuscript, 1939.; Dawdy, Doris Ostrander. Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. Chicago: Swallow Press, 1974. American Art Annual. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1898-1947 14/22/26; Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1936- v.1=1936-37 v.3= 1941-42 v.2=1938-39 v.4=1940-47. 6,7; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition (Kansas City: Kansas City Art Institute, 1920-1942 Mines, Cynthia. For the Sake of Art: The Story of an Art Movement in Kansas. s.l. Mines, 1979.) 1924- 25, 1929-33; AskArt,, accessed Dec. 16, 2005
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

Biography from Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery:
Arthur W. Hall

Arthur W. Hall was born in Texas in 1889, and received his first academic training at the Art Institute of Chicago. In the spring of 1925 he went to England, and while passing the summer in Scotland was privileged to enter the studio of a great master etcher, E. S. Lumsden of Edinburgh, under whose tutelage he acquired the rudiments of drypoint printmaking.

Nearly two years of study and sketching in the mountain villages of Southern France greatly enriched his graphic experience, and later in America he continued to widen the scope subjects by means of sketching trips through the Carolinas, the Kentucky and Tennessee hills, New Mexico and Arizona.

A member of many prestigious printmaking societies, Arthur and his wife Norma Bassett Hall were charter members of the Prairie Print Maker Society.

Medals and awards given for his prints are numerous both nationally and internationally. His work is found in many private and public collections throughout the United States and Canada.

His drypoint needle seems to accomplish anything. He is an etcher first and last, and is well aware of the possibilities and limitations of his medium.

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