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 ma
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