The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

Portrait of Patty Smith Hill, 1905



Portrait of Patty Smith Hill, 1905


Patty Smith Hill, together with fellow educator Anna Bryan (1858-1901), worked in Louisville to modernize the traditionalist kindergarten system and bring Friedrich Froebel's vision to American kindergarteners. Between 1890 and 1905, over 3,000 visitors across the nation came to Louisville to learn about their methods and subjects of teching. In 1893, Hill was named the Director of the LFKA, a role in which she further developed the Teachers College and successfully advocated for the incorporation of kindergartens into the Louisville Public School System. In 1905, Hill was appointed to the faculty of Columbia University Teachers College, where she taught for over 30 years. Hill published dozens of articles, wrote children's books, and invented "Patty Hill blocks" that are still used in kindergarten classrooms today.


Filson Photograph Collection





Strauss [from Klauber Studio], “Portrait of Patty Smith Hill, 1905,” The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects, accessed May 17, 2024,