- John A. Hammond
John A. Hammond (
April 11, 1843- 1939) was a Canadian adventurer, photographer artist, printmakerand art educator.
Montreal, Quebec, at age nine he began working with his father as a marblecutter. As a young man he joined the local militiaand was sent to counter attack an expected Fenian raid that never materialized. Seeking his fortune, in the 1860s he joined in on the Central Otago Gold Rushin New Zealandand spent three years looking for gold. After returning to Montreal, he trained and worked as a staff photographerfor the renowned William Notmanthen joined the Geological Survey of Canadathat laid out the route west for the Canadian Pacific Railway. His interest in painting was enhanced by his travels and after becoming a member of the Plymouth Brethrenreligious sect, his devotion to Christianitywould sometimes be reflected in his art.
A member of the
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, he traveled to Dordrechtin South Hollandwhere he painted with James McNeill Whistlerand in France, he painted with Jean-François Millet. and later in 1886 exhibited at the Paris Salon, winning two awards. His works were also shown at a number of other important venues including the Royal Academyin Londonand the National Academy of Designin New York City. Today, examples of his work can be seen in the National Gallery of Canadaand some of his photography at the McCord Museum.
John Hammond was a friend of the wealthy businessman and
art collector William Van Hornewho purchased some of his paintings. Van Horne was president of Canadian Pacific Railway(CPR) and he hired John Hammond to do paintings and murals at CPR hotels and offices depicting scenes from the company's various railroad routes. Hammond traveled via steam ship to Chinaand Japanbut these influences are minimal in his art. Some of Hammond's best known works are of the Bay of Fundyand scenes of the harbour at Saint John, New Brunswickwith its ever-present fog.
In 1893, Hammond was appointed the head of the Fine Arts Department at
Mount Allison Universityin Sackville, New Brunswickand served as Administrator of the university's Owens Museum of Fine Arts.
In 1929, Montreal
department storemagnate and avid art collector J. Aird Nesbittpublished "John Hammond : A Short Biography of Canada's Oldest Artist"."
John Hammond died in 1939. The "Hammond Gate" at Mount Allision University was his design and is named in his memory. In 2002, the town of Sackville 2002 held a "Celebration of John Hammond’s Cultural Gifts" that included an exhibition of his paintings.
* [http://www.mta.ca/owens/history.html History of Owens Art Gallery]
* [http://heritage.tantramar.com/Newsletter_20.html Tantramar Heritage Trust]
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