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Hall, Louise

    Full Name: Hall, Louise

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1905

    Date Died: 1990

    Place Born: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK

    Place Died: Durham, NC, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): architecture (object genre) and sculpture (visual works)


    Professor of Art and Architecture, Duke University, 1931-1975. Hall received her B.A., from Wellesley College in 1927, continuing for a second bachelor’s degree (a B.S.) from MIT in 1930. She traveled to Paris for further study at the Institute of Art and Archaeology in 1931. She returned to the United States and joined the faculty at recently founded Duke University. Her appointment was in the Philosophy department because Duke as yet had no art department. Hall was responsible for the establishment of an art-history curriculum at Duke University. During the 1930s she assisted in the federal writers’ project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), writing a guide to the architecture of North Carolina in 1938. In 1942 a separate Department of Aesthetics, Art and Music was created at Duke with the esthetician Katharine E. Gilbert (1886-1952) as chair and Hall representing art and architectural history. Hall obtained a Ph.D. from Harvard (Radcliffe) in 1954. She continued to promote the idea of a specialized department of art for Duke, and, when one was created in 1959/60, Hall became its first chair. She was also instrumental in planning for the art museum at Duke, later founded by William S. Heckscher. She retired in 1975. Hall was one of the early female architectural historians in the United States.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] Artificer to Architect in America. Ph. D., Radcliffe, 1954; North Carolina Architecture: an Essay Contributed to the North Carolina Guide in the American Guide Series. [typescript copy] 1938; Early Books on the Building Arts in Four North Carolina Libraries. Durham, NC: s.n, 1957; “New Threat to Washington Landmark: Design of the Old Patent Office.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 15 (March 1956): 27-30; “Mills, Strickland, and Walter: their Adventures in a World of Science.” Magazine of Art 40 (November 1947): 266-71; “A Pivotal Group in Architecture: The Fourteen Women of MIT, Class of 1930.” Berkeley, Ellen Perry, ed. Architecture: A Place for Women. Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 1989, pp. 79-86.


    Duke University archives.


    "Hall, Louise." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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