Miss Norah Hamilton

Birth Date: 
1873
Birth Place: 
Ft Wayne, IN
Death Date: 
1945
Residences/Studios: 
Ft Wayne, IN
New York City
Hull House, Chicago
Active In: 
Chicago
Medium: 
Drawing
Etching
Illustration
Lithography
Subject: 
Everyday life
Urban Scene
Style: 
Expressionism
Exhibitions: 
Works by American Etchers. Chicago Society of Etchers. AIC. 1911
Memberships: 
Society of Etchers
Training: 
Ft Wayne (IN) School of Art
Art Student's League, NYC
Paris
Other Occupations: 
Book and catalog illustrator
Director, Children's Art at Hull House, Chicago
Biography: 

Biography from Kim Ewald

Norah Hamilton was born in 1873 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.1 Hamilton attended the Forth Wayne School of Art, studied with Kenyon Cox in New York City, and the famous James Whistler in Paris.2 In 1899, Norah suffered a severe emotional breakdown while studying art in Europe.3 Alice Hamilton, Norah's older sister (who was already working for the Hull-House at this time) felt obliged to return home to help her sister in her time of need. When Alice was ready to return to the Hull House, Norah moved with her and became a resident of the settlement as well, creating a life-long commitment to the Hull House.

After many years in the settlement, Norah Hamilton became the director of children's art program at the Hull House in 1921.4 Throughout Hamilton's time at the Hull House she was responsible for illustrating a large numbers of catalogs, journals, and bulletins. Jane Addams chose Hamilton to illustrate her book Twenty Years at the Hull-House. Hamilton was also in charge of the illustrations for the booklet "Pottery from the Hull House," which was sponsored by Myrtle Meritt French.5

Hamilton's illustrations and prints had a loose, expressionistic style, depicting imagery from everyday life. She created hundreds of works throughout her time at the Hull House, numerous amounts of the Hull House buildings themselves. She was remembered at the settlement as 'shy, sidelong, original, a Bronte, looking at one like a deer through the brake' but who gradually occupied a position as a settlement artist.

Norah Hamilton never married.

1 Petteys, Chris. Dictionary of Women Artists: an international dictionary of women artists born before 1900. Boston: G.k. Hall and Co., 1985 (314).
2 Falk, Peter Hastings; Ed. Who is who in American Art: 1561-1975, 400 years of artists in America 1-3. Madison, Ct: Sound View Press, 1999 (1437).
3 Jackson, Shannon. Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, Hull-House Domesticity. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000 (160).
4 Johnson, Mary Ann, Ed. The Many Faces of Hull-House: The photographs of Wallace Kirkland. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1989. (1-2).
5 "Pottery from Hull-house" (1933). Hull-house pamphlet. Hull House Press. Redistributed by Jane Adamms Hull-House Museum- University of Illinois at Chicago (Sept, 2000). Jackson (160-161).

References:
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000 (160).
Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1989. (1-2).
Falk, Peter Hastings; Ed. Who is who in American Art: 1561-1975, 400 years of artists in America 1-3. Madison, Ct: Sound View Press, 1999 (1437).
Jackson, Shannon. Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, Hull-House Domesticity.
Johnson, Mary Ann, Ed. The Many Faces of Hull-House: The photographs of Wallace Kirkland.
Petteys, Chris. Dictionary of Women Artists: an international dictionary of women artists born before 1900 Boston: G.K. Hall and Co., 1985 (314).
"Pottery from Hull-house" (1933). Hull-house pamphlet. Hull House Press. Redistributed by Jane Addams Hull-House Museum- University of Illinois at Chicago Sept, 2000. Jackson (160-161).
Sicherman, Barbara. Alice Hamilton, a life of letters. Champaign, U of Illinois Press, Aug 2003.
"The Chicago Society of Etchers - Its First Exhibit." The International Studio . March 1911: xvi.