Born at Christiansund, Norway, on April 19, 1842, his parents were Ole and Magdalena (Schei) Hammerstad. Ole Hammerstad was a sailor.
John Hammerstad was apprenticed to a painter and decorator in Norway and in his late twenties studied at the drawing school of Johan Fredrick Eckersberg (1822-1870), who was a representative of the late Romantic Dusseldorf school of painting.
Hammerstad emigrated to the U.S. in 1869 and settled in Chicago, Illinois.
Primarily a landscape painter, his works stand out through their realism and use of color, with many of them sold to Chicagoans for their Victorian homes. It is said that while the artist received little money for his works, they were resold at many times the price paid to him (A History of the Norwegians in Illinois).
Mr. Hammerstad was married to Agnes Klemp, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Christian Klemp, of Fredrikshald, Norway. They had four children, and the family resided at 733 Summerdale Avenue in Chicago.
A History of the Norwegians in Illinois
Nordics of America
Information provided by Dr. Scott Routenberg