Grace Hall Hemingway

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Grace Hall Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway with Family, 1905.png
The Hemingway family in 1905 (from the left): Marcelline, Madelaine ("Sunny"), Clarence, Grace, Ursula, and Ernest
Born(1872-06-15)June 15, 1872
DiedJune 28, 1951(1951-06-28) (aged 79)
Clarence Edmonds Hemingway
(m. 1896; his death 1928)
Children6, including Ernest and Leicester

Grace Hall Hemingway (June 15, 1872 – June 28, 1951) was an American opera singer, music teacher, and painter. She was Ernest Hemingway's mother.


Grace Hall was the daughter of wealthy merchant Ernest Miller Hall and Caroline Hancock. After attending several schools in her native Chicago, she became a pupil at the Oak Park High School. From 1895, she undertook training for Grand opéra with Luiza Cappiani in New York. In 1896, Hall debuted as a talented contralto with the Apollo-Club in Madison Square Garden, and later was offered a contract by the Metropolitan Opera, but refused it because her eyes were bothered by the stage lighting.[1]

On October 1, 1896, she married Dr. Clarence Edmonds Hemingway and the couple had six children: Marcelline (1898); Ernest (1899); Ursula (1902); Madelaine (Sunny) (1904); Carol (1911); and Leicester (1915).[2] After her marriage, Hall Hemingway gave music lessons, directed the children's church choir and the orchestra at the First Congregational Church of Oak Park, and ended up earning more than her husband.[1] She insisted on instrumental lessons for Marcelline (viola) and Ernest (cello).[3]

Hall Hemingway was also an active member of the Suburban Civics and Equal Suffrage Club in Oak Park, during the era of the New Woman movement (1890–1920), with women's suffrage as a national issue.[1]

In 1924, at the age of 52, Hall Hemingway began to paint and attended classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and other art schools. In an interview in the April 1937 issue of Artistry Magazine, she claimed to have painted over 600 pictures,[4] mainly landscapes.[5] She belonged to the Oak Park Art League, including as its director for six years.

After her husband committed suicide in 1928, Hall Hemingway blamed her son Ernest for it[why?].[6] She died in 1951.


  1. ^ a b c Comley, Nancy R., in Moddelmog, Debra A.; del Gizzo, Suzanne, eds. (2012), 409-410.
  2. ^ Reynolds (2000), 17–18.
  3. ^ Justice, Hilary K., in Moddelmog, Debra A.; del Gizzo, Suzanne, eds. (2012), 194.
  4. ^ *Sanford, John E. "Grace Hall Hemingway's Painting Tour of the Southwest". California Desert Art. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  5. ^ Hemingway, Grace Hall In: Durward Howes (ed.): American Women: the Official Who's Who among the Women of the Nation, 1935. American Publications, Los Angeles 1939.
  6. ^ Svoboda, Frederic, in Moddelmog, Debra A.; del Gizzo, Suzanne, eds. (2012), 135.


  • Moddelmog, Debra A.; del Gizzo, Suzanne, eds. (2012). Ernest Hemingway in Context. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-42931-4
  • Reynolds, Michael (2000). "Ernest Hemingway, 1899–1961: A Brief Biography". in Wagner-Martin, Linda (ed). A Historical Guide to Ernest Hemingway. New York: Oxford UP. ISBN 978-0-19-512152-0

Further reading[edit]

  • Lamb, Robert Paul (2010). Art Matters – Hemingway, Craft, and the Creation of the Modern Short Story. Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8071-3550-1
  • Mandel, Miriam B. (2004). A Companion to Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon. Camden House. ISBN 978-1-57113-202-4
  • Reynolds, Michael. (1998) [First published 1986]. The Young Hemingway. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-31776-3
  • Reynolds, Michael. (1999). Hemingway The Paris Years. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-31879-1
  • Stipes Watts, Emily. (1971). Ernest Hemingway and the Arts. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-00169-7

External links[edit]