Hazel Johnson Hannell

Vin M S Hannell
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
LaGrange, IL
Hull House, Chicago
Active In: 
Furnesville, IN 1930s
Block Print
Painting - Oil
Painting - Watercolor
No-Jury Society of Artists, Chicago, ca 1920s, 30s.
Exhibitions of The Ten, Marshall Field Galleries, Chicago.
Exhibition of Religious Art by Artists of Chicago and Environs, Renaissance Society, U of Chicago, 1931.
No-Jury Society of Artists, Chicago
Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
Pines Village Retirement Communities, Valparaiso, IN
The Church School of Art, Chicago
Other Occupations: 
Hull House Kilns, commercial pottery, Chicago
Submitted by Kim Ewald

Mary Hazel Johnson (married as Hazel Hannell) was born on December 31st, 1895 in LaGrange Illinois. She studied at the Art Institute in Chicago and the Church School of Art in Chicago.

Hazel married Vin Hannell, a fellow artist, in 1923. It's been said that Hazel and Vin Hannell chose not to have children- because they choose to be artists instead. Hannell's early work was design oriented and had been commissioned by Marshall Field and Company for fabric and wallpaper designs. Hazel Hannell began as a painter, but both herself and her husband were open to working in a variety of mediums and found ceramics to be an option of pursuit. She was noted for creating oil paintings, watercolor paintings, woodcut prints, ceramic vessels and sculptures. "Her watercolors, particularly of floral subjects, constitute the body of work for which she is best known."

Both the Hannells were friends with Jane Addams and came to live as residents at the Hull-House for a time, and helped run the Hull-House Kilns. Hannell was an active member in many Chicago Art groups including the Chicago Society of Artists. Unfortunately, although her and Vin were equally producing massive amounts of work, Hazel was routinely overshadowed by Vin- in all likelihood a result of gender inequality in the 1920's.

Hannell moved to Furnessville Indiana where she spent the second half of her life. She was in love with the dunes and often represented them in her paintings.

Hannell also became as heavily involved with utilitarian pottery as she was with painting at this time. The Hannell's transformed an old chicken house on their new property to a pottery workshop for her. Hannell kept working long into her life and after Vin passed on. The last painting she created was when she was 103 years old. Hazel Hannell died in February of 2002 at 106 years of age.

The Brauer Museum of Art in Valparaiso, Indiana has a permanent collection of thirteen pieces of art by Hazel Hannell.