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More on Isabel Hawxhurst Hall – a previously little known Rubaiyat artist

November 23, 2019

RF!HH Fig.01Back in 2014, Bob Forrest drew our attention to the copy of FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat that was published in 1911, with illustrations by a young American artist called Isabel Hawxhurst Hall (IHH).  He highlighted the fact that very little seemed to be known about the artist or her other work, and he asked whether anyone else knew more.  Bob subsequently published an analysis of IHH’s work on the Rubaiyat in an article on his own website – see https://omarkhayyamrubaiyat.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/unusual-versions-of-the-rubaiyat-additional-comments-on-some-earlier-posts/ and earlier references.

Since then Bob, with the co-operation of another blog contributor Joe Howard, has done further research on this interesting artist and he has published a more extensive biography and analysis of the work of IHH as http://www.bobforrestweb.co.uk/The_Rubaiyat/N_and_Q/Isabel_Hall/Isabel_Hall.htm .  In this new article, Bob has brought together his detailed analysis of IHH’s illustrations for the Rubaiyat, with newly discovered information on her biography and her other work.  It appears that the Rubaiyat was the only book that she illustrated, but that she went on to become a well-known designer of craft-works.  Stained glass was one of her specialities, but she also did designs for a variety of textiles, wallpapers, wrapping papers, and much more.

As part of his article, Bob presents a detailed analysis of IHH’s diary for 1934-35, which was identified as being in the Library of the Brooklyn Historical Society.  This analysis, using a copy of the diary provided by Joe Howard, gives a fascinating insight into the life of a working artist and designer in the period.

Altogether we must all be grateful to Bob and Joe for helping us to learn more about another previously little known Rubaiyat artist.

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