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 Grace Lysinger Hamilton  (1894 - 1992)

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Lived/Active: Oklahoma      Known for: regionalist painter, muralist, art educator

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Grace Lysinger Hamilton (Mrs. Donald A.) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Her education was extensive.  She received a Bachelor’s Degree from the College of Fine Arts at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA; and a Master’s Degree from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK.  She was a student of various private teachers in the United States and Europe, Hebrew Institute in Pittsburgh, PA, and attended two summers at the Ligonier (PA) Summer School of Art.

She also worked on special projects with Samuel Rosenberg, Pittsburgh; Chris Walter, Pittsburgh; Emmanel Fougerat, Paris, France; Paul-Emile Lecomte, Paris, France; Yvonne Levy-Engelmann, Paris, France; and Sylvian Salieres, Paris, France.

She took two trips to Europe, one of three months duration, and one of twelve months duration, and both trips were spent in intensive painting and study in England, France, Italy, and Northern Africa.  In addition, painting trips were taken to various places in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Greece, Hong Kong, Portugal and a trip around the world.

She was a member of numerous artist organizations including Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, San Antonio Art League, Association of Oklahoma Artists, Oklahoma Association of Conservative Artists, Oklahoma Art Center (Artist Member).

She was a teacher of art as well including as art supervisor for the Oakmont, PA public schools for three years, Oklahoma State University faculty for two years, and private art classes in painting and drawing in her studio for many years.

She served as juror for numerous art competitions including the A.A.U.W. Sponsored Oklahoma School Children’s Art Project (annual state wide competition).  She was the only member of this three-man jury to serve continuously for eleven years.  She also participated in the Annual public school art projects at Duncan, OK, Guthrie, OK, Stillwater, OK, and Temple, TX.

Mrs. Hamilton lectured on art as a speaker throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas.

She exhibited at the San Antonio Art League, Selected Pittsburgh Artists; Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Association of Oklahoma Artists, Painters of Oklahoma, Alumni Exhibition, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Tulsa Art Association, Southwestern States, Artists of the Missouri Valley, Oklahoma Annual, Oklahoma Association of Conservative Artists, Well Known Painters of the Oklahoma Scene (one  of a group of Artists selected by the Museum), Muskogee First Annual.

She had paintings shown in the Pennsylvania Galleries of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum, Herbert Kaufman, Gillespie, and Carnegie Institute, San Antonio – Witte Museum, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas Municipal Auditorium in Topeka, Mulvane in Topeka, and Longton.  In Oklahoma, she exhibited at the Municipal Auditorium, the Oklahoma Art Center, and the City Library, all in Oklahoma City. The Tulsa Art Center, Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa,, City Library in Cushing, Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater,  City Library in Stillwater, and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Muskogee.

She was commissioned by the General Services Administration to paint a large mural for the US Post Office in Stillwater, OK, depicting the history of Payne County.  

Paintings (over 200) by Mrs. Hamilton hang in several public buildings, a number of business offices, and a number of private homes in many states.

Grace Hamilton received her training at a time when good draftsmanship was considered a necessary tool for good painting.  She had a vitality not always found in women painters.  She was a keen observer with a fine sense of color.  She belonged to no one artistic faith, though for the most part, she preferred to paint pictures which have real meaning to the public as well as to the artist.  Her work has been hung by the most modern as well as conservative juries.  She approached each project with an open mind in order to achieve the proper mood and character for that particular subject and for the thought it was intended to convey.  She let the WHAT determine the HOW.  She believed that rooms in many contemporary homes are enhanced by an abstract painting with the right colors or pattern to complement the other parts of the room.  She also believed just as firmly that there are other rooms where an abstract painting could be incongruous.  In short she did not hold with those who argue that there is one way and one way only to paint.

In the matter of murals in our public buildings, she believed they should be understood by all the people and give offence to none.  Such work should have good design as prerequisite, but it should have something more than design.  It should say something-something which will speak for itself – without an interpreter.

Tom Summers and Christ Ashworth, Researchers of the Ashworth Collection of Native American and Western Art

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