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John Hammond (1843-1939) was born in Montreal. He was eleven years old when he decided to become an artist. He received his early education in Montreal, and as a young man travelled to London, England, and then to New Zealand with his brother to pan for gold. In 1870 he returned to Canada and joined the Transcontinental Survey Party which was engaged for the purpose of making preliminary studies for the building of a railway, travelling as far as Yellowhead Pass. In 1871 Hammond was employed with Wm. Notman Photographers in Montreal. It was there that he worked with artists J.A. Fraser, Henry Sandham, Otto Jacobi, and W. P. Weston. In 1873 he was elected a member of the newly formed Ontario Society of Artists, and became a full time painter. In 1880 he was in Saint John where he painted portraits, and worked with photographer and artist James Notman of Wm. & J. Notman, a branch office of the Montreal business. He traveled to Europe to study painting in France, Holland, and Italy, in Belgium with James McNeill Whistler, and in Barbizon with Jean-Francois Millet. He won several awards and was elected Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1890, and became a full member in 1893. He was commissioned by Sir William Van Horne, founder of the CPR, to do a number of large murals and paintings depicting the scenery of Western Canada and the CPR’s part in opening the West. John Hammond, who had been Principal at the Owens Art Institution in Saint John, NB, accepted the position of Director of the School of Art at Mount Allison in 1893, remaining in that position until he retired in 1919. In 1930 Mount Allison conferred on him an honorary LL.D. degree. He married Miss Ackers in the mid 1870's, and 2 years after her death in 1900, he married Katharine J. Stark, a member of the Mount Allison Conservatory staff. Their daughter Katharine Elizabeth was born in 1907. Mr. Hammond died in Sackville in 1939 at the age of 96.
John Hammond, a painter of landscape, seascape, and mountains, had an interest in the railway. In 1871, he had been a member of the Transcontinental Railway Survey Team, assisting William Notman in compiling a photographic record of their journey.