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Philip Leslie Hale papers, 1818-1962, bulk,1877-1939

Philip Leslie Hale papers, 1818-1962, bulk,1877-1939

Hale, Philip Leslie, 1865-1931

Painter, Author

Collection Information

Size: 7.4 linear ft.

Biographical/Historical Note

Philip Leslie Hale (1865-1931) was a painter, teacher, critic, and writer from Boston, Mass. Hale received early training under his sister Ellen Day Hale, at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and Academy Julian in Paris, and he studied privately with William M. Chase, J. A. Weir, and Kenyon Cox. Taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for thirty years; at various times, he also was on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Boston University. He is the son of Reverend Edward Everett Hale.


The Philip Leslie Hale papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1962 by the artist's daughter, Nancy Hale Bowers. The majority of this gift was microfilmed on reels D97-D104. Notes by Mrs. Nathan Hale on 25 anatomy lectures by Philip Leslie Hale, and the handwritten text of an art lecture by Philip L. Hale were the gift of Lilian Westcott Hale in 1963.

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Scope and Contents

The papers of Boston painter, teacher, critic, and writer Philip Leslie Hale measure 6.7 linear feet and are dated 1818-1962 (bulk dates 1877-1939). Biographical information, correspondence, artwork, writings, printed material, and photographs document the artist's career and personal life. The collection also includes research materials and catalogs compiled by Albert J. Kennedy for his never-published Philip Leslie Hale memorial volume.

Biographical information includes financial and legal records; personal documents, such as educational records, biographical notes; printed material; and notes concerning art classes and teaching. Also included are scattered letters, invitations, schoolwork, and notebooks from his youth. Ten notebooks contain sketches, along with some class notes and essays.

Family, general, and business correspondence document the personal and professional life of Philip Leslie Hale and, to a lesser extent, several of his relatives. Family correspondence includes Hale's correspondence with various relatives, and some of their correspondence with others. General correspondence with friends, colleagues and other artists is both personal and professional in nature. Correspondents include Theodore Butler, Kenyon Cox, Nancy Hale, William H. Hart, and Edmund C. Tarbell. Business correspondence concerns many aspects of Hale's career. Correspondents include students, arts institutions, models, and publishers.

Writings by Philip L. Hale consist of lectures on anatomy, art history, and various art topics; miscellaneous articles; notes on artists, esthetics and philosophy either for classroom use or his writings; character sketches, a play, poems, and political writings. Art work by Philip L. Hale consists of 9 sketchbooks and loose sketches in pencil and ink of heads, figures, anatomical studies, landscapes, and miscellaneous subjects. A much smaller number of pastels, prints, and oil sketches are included. This series also includes a few items by other hands.

Research files and catalogs, compiled 1932-1939 by Hale's friend Albert J. Kennedy for a never-published memorial volume, include extensive correspondence and notes of interviews with friends, relatives, colleagues, former students, and models recording their reminiscences of Hale. Kennedy collected exhibition catalogs and a variety of other printed material, along with biographical and genealogical information, and photographs of Hale's work. Many of his research notes consist of handwritten transcriptions of published articles by and about Hale.

Printed material about Philip L. Hale includes articles, reviews, and miscellaneous newspaper clippings mentioning him or containing reproductions of his work. Items by Hale consist of art reviews and miscellaneous articles on art topics, copies of his columns that appeared in "Arcadia: A Journal Devoted to Music, Art and Literature," and the text of a speech.

The majority of photographs record works of art, mainly by Philip L. Hale, and also by Lilian Westcott Hale, Robert Payne, and Edmund C. Tarbell. Personal photographs include images of Hale, his relatives, and friends. Also, there are also several group portraits of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition Jury, a group portrait with students, views of Hale at work in his studio and in the classroom, pictures of a summer house, and landscapes.

Most of the collection is available on microfilm reels D97-D104 at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Note: Researchers should consult the finding aid's container listing for references to microfilm, as the archival arrangement of the originals as re-processed in 2004 no longer matches the arrangement at the time the collection was microfilmed in 1964.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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