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Oral history interview with Miriam Colwell, 2005 June 10-11

Interviewee:
Colwell, Miriam, 1917-2014  Search this
Colwell, Miriam, 1917-2014  Search this
Interviewer:
Larsen, Susan C., 1946-  Search this
Subject:
Hall, Chenoweth  Search this
Hartley, Marsden  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Authors -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12673
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)254217
AAA_collcode_colwel05
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_254217
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Miriam Colwell

Interviewee:
Colwell, Miriam, 1917-  Search this
Interviewer:
Larsen, Susan C.  Search this
Names:
Hall, Chenoweth, 1908-1999  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Extent:
46 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2005 June 10-11
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Miriam Colwell conducted in her home 2005 June 10-11, by Susan C. Larsen, for the Archives of American Art, in Prospect Harbor, Maine.
Colwell discusses her family's long history in Maine; the ancestral home in which she still resides; her mother dying of influenza and her father, an invalid; living with her grandparents, who spoiled her; the dinners her grandmother hosted for Summer residents; graduating as valedictorian and enrolling in the University of Maine, Orono; dropping out after one year; meeting Chenoweth Hall through her friend, Louise, who worked at a restaurant "Chennie" frequented; visiting Chenoweth in New York City and deciding soon afterwards to move there; immersion into the cultural world of New York; working as a salesperson and a consumer researcher; returning to Prospect Harbor with Chenoweth; working as town postmaster; moving into a house on the beach with Chenoweth; their many acquaintances in the arts, particularly Marsden Hartley; Hartley's death; and the different ways in which she and Chenoweth approached the arts. Colwell also discusses her delving into a literary career; the relationships with publishers and literary agents; the inspirations for "Young" and "Wind off the Water"; her and Chenoweth's frequent travels; being on a trans-Atlantic passenger liner that caught fire; a never-published novel about a group of Maine expatriates in Israel; selling the movie rights of "Young" and the movie's failed production; Chenoweth's multiple talents; Chenoweth teaching at University of Maine, Machias; the onset of Chenoweth's Parkinson's Disease; spending winters on Jekyll Island, Georgia; Chenoweth's death; and the subsequent handling of Chenoweth's estate. Colwell also recalls Erle Loran, Christine Watson, Ruth Stone, Ken McCormick, John Marin, Bernice Baumgarten, Katherine Hathaway, Malvin Albright, Ivan Albright, Berenice Abbott, Paul Strand, Vincent Hartgen, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Miriam Colwell (1917- ) is an author from Prospect Harbor, Maine. Susan C. Larsen is an art historian from Tenants Harbor, Maine.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 27 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Authors -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.colwel05
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-colwel05

Chenoweth Hall papers

Creator:
Hall, Chenoweth, 1908-1999  Search this
Names:
Colwell, Miriam, 1917-  Search this
Extent:
5.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Video recordings
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Date:
circa 1870s-2001
bulk 1938-1999
Summary:
The papers of sculptor, writer, and teacher Chenoweth Hall measure 5.9 linear feet and date from circa 1870s-2001, with the bulk of the records dating between 1938-1999. The papers document Hall's career through personal and professional files, correspondence, writing files, printed materials, photographs, and some artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor, writer, and teacher Chenoweth Hall measure 5.9 linear feet and date from circa 1870s-2001, with the bulk of the records dating between 1938-1999. The papers document Hall's career through personal and professional files, correspondence, writing files, printed materials, photographs, and some artwork.

Personal and professional files contain biographical materials such as resumes, biographical summaries, and family histories; gallery, exhibition, and financial files; papers related to talks given by Hall; education and employment records; an inventory of sculptures; and one VHS recording.

Correspondence is between Hall and Miriam Colwell and their families, as well as with publishers, literary agents, and fans regarding Hall's writings. Also found is correspondence with artists, galleries, and museums.

Hall's writing files form the bulk of the collection and include drafts, handwritten and typed, of her stories, novellas, novels, and plays; notebooks, notes and other writings; and a handwritten copy of Colwell's book, Young (1955). Printed materials include clippings, exhibition material, and other printed ephemera. Photographs depict Hall's sculptures, one exhibition at the University of Maine, and Hall's family and friends. Hall's artwork found in the collection includes illustrated folders, sketchbooks, and loose sketches.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 6 series.

Series 1: Personal and Professional Files, 1905-1989 (Boxes 1, 7; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1938-circa 1981 (Boxes 1-2; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Writing Files, circa 1938-1970 (Boxes 2-5; 3.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1940-1999 (Boxes 5, 7; 10 folders)

Series 5: Photographs, circa 1870s-1990s (Boxes 5-6, 8; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, 1937-1990 (Boxes 6-7; 8 folders)
Biographical / Historical:
Chenoweth Hall (1908-1999) was a sculptor, writer, musician, and teacher from Prospect Harbor, Maine. Born in Indiana, Hall attended college at the University of Wisconsin where she was initially enrolled as an architecture student, but ultimately changed majors to study music. Hall moved to New York, took classes at Columbia University Teachers College, and became a licensed teacher in New York. There, her primary employment was account executive at an advertising agency, a position she subsequently credited with improving her writing.

After moving to Maine in the late-1930s, Hall became a free-lance fiction writer working on short stories, novellas, and novels, and met Miriam Colwell, a writer who became her lifelong partner.

Hall's stories were published in newspapers and magazines, and her novel, Crow on the Spruce, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1946. In 1968, Hall wrote the text for photographer Bernice Abbott's Portrait of Maine.

Hall began exhibiting her sculpture in the 1950s, with one-man shows at Cape Split Gallery, Maine Art Gallery, University of Maine, Joan Whitney Payson Gallery, and the Philips Gallery. She also exhibited in group shows at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Portland Museum of Art, Shore Gallery, and Hobe Sound Gallery. Hall was commissioned by the Pierre Monteux Foundation to install a sculpture at the Monteux School in Maine. Her work is also found in the collection at the University of Maine, Orono, and in the homes of private collectors.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in 2001 by Miriam Colwell.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Sculptors -- Maine  Search this
Authors -- Maine  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Video recordings
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Citation:
Chenoweth Hall papers, circa 1870s-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hallchen
See more items in:
Chenoweth Hall papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hallchen

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