Carney Gallery

Regis College Fine Arts Center

Gallery Entrance, photo: Greg Mironchuk

Weston, MA



Drawn with Butterfly's Wings: The Art of Lilian Westcott Hale (1880-1963)

April 23 through May 7, 1999


Invitation card graphic for exhibition, featuring "Full length Portrait, ca. 1907, charcoal on paper, 23 x 14 7/8 inches, collection of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Hagan

Click on images to enlarge them


Lilian Westcott Hale was one of Boston's must successful and respected artists. The title for the exhibition arises from a quote of William McGregor Paxton, who said that Lilian Wescott Hale drew with butterfly's wings.

Hale was admired both for her elegant and graceful oils and charcoal drawings.

In 1900 Lilian Westcott attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, entering with a scholarship from the Hartford Art Society. At the School, she enrolled in Edmund C. Tarbell's advanced painting class. She met an instructor named Philip Hale while at the School, whom she later married. Philip served as a teacher and mentor to Lilian throughout their marriage.

In 1906 Hale exhibited "The Convalescent" (now titled Ziffy in Bed - see left) at the prestigious Fenway Studios in Boston. This painting received favorable reviews in the Boston press, favoring Lilian's composition over that of her husband. Hale's steadfast model, Rose Zeffler, was the subject of many drawings and paintings. "Zeffy," as she was known by Hale, was the model for a group of drawings at the Fourth Annual Water Color Club Exhibition in Philadelphia, held at the Pennsylvania Academy in April, 1907. Soon after the Philadelphia exhibition, Hale earned further acclaim at a 1908 show at the Rowlands Galleries in Boston.

In 1915 Hale sent six drawings to the Panama-Pacific Exhibition in San Francisco, winning a medal of honor for her drawings. Her painting Lavender and Old Ivory (see right) won a gold medal there.

Later in her career, Hale painted portraits, still lifes and landscapes -- home in the winter and in Rockport in the summer. At the age of 83 Hale won her last prize at the Rockport Art Association's summer exhibition, passing away later that year.


From top to bottom: Nancy and the Map of Europe, 1919, oil on canvas, private collection; On Christmas Day in the Morning, 1924, charcoal and colored pencil on paper, collection of Richard York Gallery; Ziffy in Bed , 1906, oil on canvas, Nebraska Art Association, Beatrice D. Rohman Fund; Lavender and Old Ivory , 1914, oil on canvas, private collection; Child with Yarn (Johnny Blake), 1923, oil on canvas, Adelson Galleries, Inc.; The Sailor Boy (William Wertenbaker), 1943, oil on canvas, private collection

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

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