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Abell, Walter Halsey, 1897-1956
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Walter Halsey Abell was born in Philadelphia in 1897. He was educated at Swarthmore College and the Barnes Foundation, studying art. He went to Europe for three years to continue his study of art before coming to Acadia University.
Abell began as a Professor of Art at Acadia in 1927 and may have been the first instructor of fine arts in Canada. The Carnegie Foundation endowed Acadia’s fine arts department during the time that Abell was teaching. He left in 1942. While at Acadia, Abell published his first book in 1936, entitled “Representation and Form”. With the assistance of Carnegie, he also established the Maritime Art Association.
After leaving Acadia, Abell joined the staff of the National Gallery of Canada for a short time. He then went to Michigan State University as Professor of art history. While in Michigan, he published a number of books and articles. Walter Abell remained on staff at the University until his sudden death in 1956.