E.F. Hall, whose first name was Eleck, was well known as a Pictorialist and professional portrait photographer in Buffalo. Born in 1857 in Bath, New Hampshire, he began his photographic career in his native state in about 1874. He married in Iowa and worked in Creston, Iowa, as a photographer, as well as in Hanover, Lisbon, and Littleton, New Hampshire. He moved to Buffalo in 1887, where his studio, "E.F. Hall & Co." at 306 Main Street, succeeded that of Powelson. In 1894, he moved to 469 Virginia Street, which appears in "Catalogue of the Second Annual Exhibition of the Buffalo Chapter of the American Institute of Architects," March 1895. He sold this studio in 1908 to Howard Beach but continued operating there with Beach as "Hall's Photographic Studios" until 1913. Hall is included in Anthony Bannon's book, The Photo-Pictorialists of Buffalo (1981) and there is a photo of him in the 1897 Buffalo Merchants Exchange book, p. 117.
In about 1978, I acquired a remnant of Hall's estate from a bookseller in Trenton, New Jersey, consisting of eight mounted prints (mostly platinum) and a ribbon-tied portfolio entitled, "When the Priests were here..." with 17 small platinum prints on several pages. At the end of the portfolio is written, "Compliments of E.F. Hall and G.E. Hayes." One of the larger mounted prints is a carbon print of E. F. Hall by Commodore Steffens of Chicago, another well known pictorialist portrait photographer who was a member of the Coterie, the informal group of the leading portrait photographers in America led by Elias Goldensky. Hall also appears in a group photo in the aforementioned portfolio. Among other mounted prints is a platinum print of a woman signed by Hall and, another, unsigned, of the same woman. This could be Hall's wife. There are also several platinum prints of the interior of Hall's Virginia Street home and studio, confirmed in 2013 by Sussan Giallombardo, whose late father Salvatore Giallombardo bought the property from Howard Beach's daughter in 1974.
Thanks to Dale Rossi for biographical information on E.F. Hall and other contributions to this web page. Selected images from my Hall collection and others follow:
Portrait of E.F. Hall by Commodore Steffens of Chicago (For information about Steffens, see Portrait Magazine Index.)
Woman with bustle, possibly Mrs. Hall, by Hall
Home interior, Hall's Virginia Street studio
Home interior, Hall's Virginia Street studio, 2
Home interior, Hall's Virginia Street studio, 3
Home interior, Hall's Virginia Street studio, 4
Page (slightly cropped) from portfolio compiled by Hall and Hayes
Cabinet card of young woman by Hall
Cabinet card of two women and a girl (acquired 2009, not part of Hall archive)
Woman with peaked shoulders, ca. 1895 (courtesy John Digesare)