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Lot 68: Lilian Westcott Hale (1881-1963)

Est: $40,000 USD - $60,000 USDSold:
Christie'sMay 18, 2004New York, NY, US

Item Overview


Song of the Spheres
signed 'Lilian Westcott Hale' (lower right)
oil on canvas
52 1/4 x 45 in. (132.7 x 114.3 cm.)

Artist or Maker


Chicago, Illinois, Art Institute of Chicago, American Paintings and Sculpture: Thirty-Seventh Annual Exhibition, 1924.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pennsylania Academy of the Fine Arts, One Hundred and Twentieth Annual Exhibition, 1925.


Private collection, Dedham, Massachusetts, 1924.
Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, 1925.


Erica Hirshler writes that, "Lilian Westcott had been a talented pupil at the Hartford Art School in Connecticut and a summer pupil of William Merritt Chase. She had arrived at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts with high recommendations and scholarship. She told her instructor in Hartford, Elizabeth Stevens, that her 'highest ambition [is] to be a portrait painter,' a specialty that she felt combined high art and the potential to earn her own living." (A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston, 1870-1940, Boston, Massachusetts, 2001, p. 107) Referring to the fundamental movements of the world, the present work, Song of the Spheres, embodies the timeless beauty Hale and the Boston School painters sought to create. A mother stands at the center of the subtly lit room, filled with rich colors and fabrics, her arm around her daughter and reading a book to her. All the things she will need for her future surround the young girl: art, literature, geography and music. This work is a wonderful example of the women painters in the Boston School and why they are so highly regarded. Erica Hirshler writes about the paintings of the Boston School women artists, "The subjects the women painted during the early years of the twentieth century in Boston were remarkably similar to those of the men...While women were commissioned far more often to paint likenesses of women than they were of men, and many women artists were considered natural choices to create images of children, the way they crafted their paintings, the types of objects they chose to include, and the style in which they applied paint to canvas differ little from those of men." (A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston, 1870-1940, p. 99)

Auction Details

Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture

May 18, 2004, 12:00 AM EST

20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, 10020, US