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

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Catherine S. Gaines
Scope and Contents note
The papers of Boston painter, teacher, critic, and writer Philip Leslie Hale measure 7.4 linear feet and date from 1818 to 1962, with the bulk of the material dating from 1877 to 1939. Biographical information; correspondence with family, friends, and colleagues, including many artists; sketches and 9 sketchbooks; 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 a never-published Philip Leslie Hale memorial volume.
Biographical materials include financial and legal records; personal documents, such as educational records and 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 exchanges 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.
Artwork 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 artists.
Research files and catalogs, compiled from 1932 to 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. Printed items by Hale consist of art reviews, 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. 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.
The Philip Leslie Hale papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1962 by the artist's daughter, Nancy Hale Bowers. Additionally, notes written by Mrs. Nathan Hale were donated by Lilian Westcott Hale in 1963.
Related Archival Materials note
The Archives of American Art also holds a separately cataloged collection of Philip Leslie Hale drawings on microfilm reel 3766 and two collections related to the Hale family, including the Ellen Hale and Hale family papers and the Edward Everett Hale letter to an unidentified person.
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Processing Information
The papers received a preliminary level of processing and were microfilmed onto reels D97-D104 in 1962; these reels are no longer in circulation. In 2004, Catherine S. Gaines organized and merged all accessions into one logical archival arrangement. In 2013, the collection was prepared for scanning by Judy Ng and digitized with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.