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Beverly Hallam papers, 1899-2013

Biographical Note

Beverly Linney Hallam (1923-2013) was a painter, photographer, printmaker, and art educator in York, Maine. Hallam was born in Lynn, Massachusetts to parents Alice Linney Hallam and Edwin Hallam, who was an engineer. Beverly Hallam gravitated toward art making at a young age, and pursued a bachelor's degree in education from the Massachusetts College of Art. Shortly after graduation Hallam accepted a position at Lasell Junior College where she was Chairman of the Art Department until 1949. In 1948 she attended a summer study program at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. In 1953 she received her M.F.A. at Syracuse University where she wrote her thesis on the use of polyvinyl acetate as an artistic medium. For this and other early efforts she would be known as a pioneer for the medium of acrylic paint, which polyvinyl acetate would come to be known. From 1949-1962 Ms. Hallam was professor at the Massachusetts College of Art from 1949-1961 where she taught Painting, Drawing and Design, and Photography. She is particularly well known as a printmaker, and especially for her large-scale airbrush paintings of flowers.
Around the early 1960s with Hallam's departure from teaching, she relocated permanently to Ogunquit, Maine where she kept a studio and home known as Stonecrop, which is currently an art gallery by the same name. In 1971 Hallam and lifelong friend and companion Mary-Leigh Smart completed the construction of Surf Point, which served as both a home as well as a studio for Hallam. Surf Point was situated near the property known as Wild Knoll which was home to Hallam's close friend and correspondent, the poet and writer May Sarton, who lived there from 1974-1995. Sarton and Hallam Smart was a founder of The Barn Gallery, under the Ogunquit Art Association, for which both Hallam and Smart were board members. Smart also was also a collector and art consultant, passionate about Maine regional artists. In 1988 Mary-Leigh Smart established a Trust that would ensure their home and surrounding land would be turned into an artist residency upon their deaths, known as the Surf Point Foundation, modelled after the MacDowell Colony.