Chenoweth Hall slides, 1952–1986
Collection Scope and Content
This collection is composed of slides and stereo slides of images taken by Hall from 1952 to 1986, including images of her home with Miriam Colwell in Prospect Harbor and their pets; the natural world, including gardens, birds and landscapes; excursions along the Maine coast; travel to Europe (especially Greece), Canada, New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C.; Hall’s artwork; and visits with artist friends such as Berenice Abbott, Ruth Moore, Bernard Langlais, Beverly Hassam, Robert Shetterly and others.
Chenoweth Hall was born in New Albany, Indiana, on November 2, 1908, the eldest daughter of Nellie (Smith) and George W. Hall. At the University of Wisconsin, Hall earned a degree in musicology, and upon graduation she moved to New York City. After working as a music teacher in New Jersey elementary schools, she became a copywriter for various New York City advertising agencies, handling such well-known fashion accounts as The Cotton Shop, Lily Daché and Helena Rubenstein. During her New York years, she played violin in the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra and with the Rossano String Quartet, and monitored courses at The New School for Social Research, while working on a thesis titled The Interrelationship of the Arts at Columbia University.
In 1939, she moved to Prospect Harbor, Maine with Miriam Colwell and began to devote her time to her creative pursuits. Hall’s early focus was on writing, and her novel The Crow on the Spruce was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1946. She then began to concentrate her energies more toward painting (primarily watercolors) and sculpture. She exhibited widely in and outside of Maine, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Connecticut and Florida. In Maine, Hall developed important, long-lasting friendships with fellow artists John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Berenice Abbott, Ruth Moore and others. In 1968, she collaborated with Abbott on “A Portrait of Maine,” pairing her text with Abbott’s photographs. Also that year, Hall became artist in residence and associate professor of art at the University of Maine, Machias, where she taught for 10 years. Hall’s work during the later stages of her life focused primarily on carving, first in wood and then in stone. In 1970, her 4½-ton granite memorial sculpture to Pierre Monteux was dedicated in Hancock.
With her retirement in 1978, she and Colwell began to spend six months of the year in Jekyll Island, Georgia, where Hall became an active member of the art association, the Mozart Society, and played violin in the Brunswick (Georgia) Symphony Orchestra. In 1989 she began to show the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, suffering failing health over the next ten years. In September 1996, a tribute exhibit of Hall’s paintings and sculpture was held at the art gallery of the University of Maine, Machias, and in 1998 a collection of her watercolors was shown at University of Maine, Orono. Chenoweth Hall died on April 19, 1999. Later that year the Gleason Gallery in Camden held a solo exhibit of her watercolors. Hall’s work is included in numerous museums and private collections throughout the country, and her papers are held by the Smithsonian Institution.