Barbara Hall (Isabelle Danielle Hall)

(American artist, 1919 – 2014) 

Barbara Hall was born Isabelle Danielle Hall in Tucson, Arizona, where she grew up. I studied with her when I stayed at the Quarry Hill Creative Arts Center, her retreat in Vermont.

When Barbara Hall married Irving Fiske, they bought 130 acres in Vermont called Quarry Hill (later called Quarry Hill Creative Arts Center) and made it an artists and writers retreat and gathering place for creative and freethinking people. Barbara was a wonderful artist, painting in pastel and egg tempera. The Fiske’s had two children, Isabella (Ladybelle) and William. Hall eventually divorced Fiske and in 1989 remarried Dr. Donald Calhoun, a writer and sociology professor.

Prior to meeting Barbara Hall at Quarry Hill in Vermont, I was visiting Tucson, Arizona. While in Tucson I met Ted DeGrazia, a well-known Tucson artist. This was for me a time of existential artistic dilemma. DeGrazia liked my work and encouraged me. He let me use the back table in his studio to make art for the summer. This was a turning point in my artistic determination and direction. A year or so later when I first went to Vermont and met Barbara Hall at Quarry Hill, I was astounded to see a beautiful large egg tempera portrait she had painted of Ted DeGrazia. Of course, I realized, she grew up in Tucson, Arizona and knew him. The painting, and others, showed the influence of Piero della Francesca in her work. Barbara had a profound reverence for her fellow man which came through in her paintings. Because of her my purpose for making art was clarified and I confirmed to myself that the most important thing I could do in life was to make art.

Neil J. Colligan created a beautiful film of her memorial: QH2 Celebration of Barbara

Ladyelle, Mishcka, Barbara and William with puppies
Painting by Barbara Hall:
Portrait of Ted DeGrazia
Tucson artist
Ca 1949. 
Egg tempera on gesso board .
Tiles in corners are by DeGrazia
Painting by Barbara Hall:
Portrait of Ted DeGrazia, Tucson artist
Ca 1949.
Egg tempera on gesso board.
Tiles in corners of frame are made by DeGrazia.