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Tony Nell (1881-1960) wa born in Washington D.C. She studied at the Denver School of Art and in New York with George Bellows, Frank DuMond, and William Merritt Chase. Nell was a frequent exhibitor in and juror for the annual displays of the New York Water Color Club, she was also a founding member of the Society of Women Painters. "The Hall" is understood to highlight a popular early 20th-century urban amusement—the burgeoning film industry in America. Nell’s engaging depiction of a young girl, dressed up for the show, stands in front of a poster that reads "Hall Tonight" and "Thursday 8 o’clock." Captured in a candid moment, the subject is sensitively rendered in a range of precise details—from her expectant expression to her class-specific dress, complete with an overlarge hat and parasol, seemingly borrowed for the occasion. Nell’s expressive focus on the realism of the young girl’s physical appearance and interior life, rendered in an experimental watercolor technique, distinguishes it from most other urban subjects of the period.

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