Katherine (Kap) Carothers Hall was a professional fine artist born in Austin, Texas in 1901. After graduating from the University of Texas in 1922 with a BA, Carothers pursued an obvious artistic talent (Her brother Stuart, was an illustrator and cartoonist with the Chicago Tribune), and received a scholarship to the Arts Student League in New York City. There she studied with George Luks and George B. Bridgman until 1924. She then began a successful career as a portraitist primarily in the New York City area. In 1930, she married Harleston J. Hall and they settled in Montclair, NJ in 1937 andremained there until her death in 1998.
Luks’ influence, in the use of tonal harmonies rather than coloristic technique and a dark palette, is evident in her early work. The broad brush strokes of the Ashcan School continued throughout her career, although her paintings became more impressionist and brighter from the middle 1940’s on. Carothers continued to paint until she was 90. Many of Carothers’ paintings were commissioned portraits which are privately owned throughout the United States. Public collections owning her work include the American Legion War Memorial in Paris,The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Wisconsin and Lehigh University.
In 1929-1930, Katherine entered into an agreement with Mansbendel to paint his portrait. The portrait which still hangs in the Mansbendel home features Peter in front of his carved mantle. In exchange, Peter carved a bed for her which featured her portrait. This bed is carved in walnut and it is a faithful example of Spanish Baroque style. Peter thought it was very Texan to trade.