Natalie Hays Hammond

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Natalie Hays Hammond
Natalie hammond.jpg
Natalie Hayes Hammond
Born (1904-01-06)January 6, 1904
Lakewood, New Jersey
Died June 30, 1985(1985-06-30) (aged 81)
North Salem, New York
Nationality American
Occupation Painter, miniaturist, Broadway set and costume designer, author, textiles
Parent(s) John Hays Hammond
Natalie (Harris) Hammond

Natalie Hays Hammond (1904–1985) was an American artist, author, and inventor. She worked in the fields of painting, miniatures, textile arts, and costume and set design. She worked with Martha Graham and Alice D. Laughlin to create the first woman produced Broadway theatre production.[1]

Early life[edit]

Natalie Hays Hammond was born in Lakewood, New Jersey in 1904. Her parents were millionaires. Her father was John Hays Hammond and her mother was Natalie Harris. Hammond's brother, John Hays Hammond, Jr., was the eventual founder of Hammond Castle.[2] As a 10-year-old child, she inspired her mother to start the War Children's Christmas Fund in support of European orphans in World War I.[3] Hammond chose to work and stay active, instead of becoming a socialite, like other young people in her privileged status state.[4]

Mid-life and career[edit]

Hammond was a costume and set designer. At the age of 22, she won a competition held at the American Laboratory Theatre. The award allowed her to the costumes for a play starring Alla Nazimova.[4] Hammond was an art collector. She collected works by Carl Van Vechten. She also collected hand fans.[5] In 1926, Cecil Thomas created a bust of Hammond, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts the same year. Hammond was friends with Martha Graham and met photographer Soichi Sunami through Graham. Sunami would photograph Hammond during their friendship.[6]

In 1931, Hammond invented and patented a form of appliqué which allowed metal to be applied to fabrics.[7]

By 1940 she was living in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her Gloucester home was designed by Eleanor Raymond. The home consisted of four buildings: one for Hammond, two for her friends, and one for servants and dining.[8] Hammond set up a program, called Civil Patrol, to teach young girls emergency communication and transportation skills. The mission was to train the girls in case they had to serve in World War II.[9]

During her lifetime, she was engaged seven times. She never married.[1] She designed her own needlepoint patterns, and published a book about her work in 1949.[1]

Later life and legacy[edit]

Hammond with her father, John Hays Hammond, Sr.

Hammond moved to North Salem, New York. Her home and Japanese garden became the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden.[4][6] In 1979, she was awarded the Medallion Award of the Westchester Community College Foundation for founding the Hammond Museum and her art.[1]

Ephemera collections of Hammond's are held in the Brooklyn Museum and National Portrait Gallery.[10] In 2012, the Hammond Museum held an exhibition about Hammond titled Celebrating Natalie Hays Hammond, An Eclectic Life.[11]

Further reading[edit]

Works by Natalie Hays Hammond
  • Elizabeth of England (1936)
  • Paintings by Natalie Hays Hammond (1939)
  • Restrospective exhibition of Natalie Hays Hammond (1944)
  • Natalie Hays Hammond: exhibition of drawings: anthology of pattern, jewelry designs, watercolors & drawings (1948)
  • Anthology of pattern (1949)[12]
  • New adventures in needlepoint design. New York: Simon & Schuster (1973). ISBN 0671215752


  1. ^ a b c d "New honor for Natalie Hays Hammond" (PDF). Page 5. Brewster Standard. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "History". Hammond Museum. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Christmas for the war children". The Independent. Nov 30, 1914. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Natalie Hammond, 81; An Artist and Inventor". Arts. The New York Times. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Hammond, Natalie Hays, 1905-". The Frick Collection. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "C. Later 1920s Collection of Fine Portrait Photography of Natalie Hays Hammond By Soichi Sunami, Peter A. Juley & Son, Ira L. Hill Studio, Ames & Others". Certain Books. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Bonnier Corporation (March 1931). Popular Science. Bonnier Corporation. p. 39. ISSN 0161-7370. 
  8. ^ Gruskin, Nancy. "Designing Women". University California Press. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Time Inc (9 September 1940). LIFE. Time Inc. p. 6. ISSN 0024-3019. 
  10. ^ "Archives related to: Hammond, Natalie Hays, 1905-". Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America. The Frick Collection. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Art Exhibit". 2012 Exhibits. Hammond Museum. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Anthology of pattern / pref. by George Boas.". Hathi Trust Digital Library. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 

External links[edit]