Horace Hamlin & his historic Norfolk Paintings

Horace Hamlin painting Norfolk library
Horace Hamlin photographed painting the Norfolk Library

Horace Hamlin was born on October 10, 1902 in England. He went to grade school and up to one year of Fleet Street Art School, where he found his love for art. Charcoal drawings were his first form of art, his grandson Brian says and they still have a couple saved. As a young man he moved to Digby, Nova Scotia where he worked as a printer at the Digby Courier to help support his family. He then migrated to Maine and then down to the Norwood area and eventually married Francis Gilliat in 1929. At the age of 27 he moved to Norfolk and lived in three different houses there. Where his children Joan and Horace Roy Hamlin were raised. As a tradesperson and throughout his 40 years of experience in the press industry, he took on many different roles, enjoying anything artistic or that required a lot of detail.

Norfolk Station painting by Horace Hamlin

Horace retired from his printing job in 1969 at which time he picked back up his brushes and devoted himself to his love of painting. Around the age of 69 his art career was thriving until he passed in 1983. He painted several oil paintings from old photographs of old-time Norfolk as well as other seascapes and treescapes and a few animals. He was commissioned by many residents at the time to paint pieces that most likely still hang in Norfolk homes today. He painted all of the landmarks and important sites in Norfolk with such detail and style. What stands out about his painting style/technique is how meticulously detailed his work was. This detail allowed him to capture scenes of Norfolk so vividly that his paintings are sure to bring up feelings of nostalgia to anyone from Norfolk, as well as admiration from anyone appreciating the skills of his craft. Today, most of his remarkable paintings of important sites in Norfolk hang in is grandson’s business, Hamlin Cabinetry Corp.

Horace Hamlin framed painting 1975 Norfolk Station

He was also the church organist at several churches over the years but enjoyed playing at the Federated Chruch in Norfolk for over 20 years as well as singing in their choir. Horace lived his last 5 years at Hillcrest Village at which he had taken part as one of their board of directors to get the first Over 55 Housing in Norfolk. He is remembered by his family having a kind, simple soul. Humble, but admired by many for his skilled paintings. The kind of person who was always giving rides to people. The kind of person who should always be remembered.

That’s why the Hamlin Family has decided to create an art scholarship in his name for a KP student. Roy and Brian are making a limited quantity of prints of Horace Hamlin’s wonderful paintings to auction or sell. All proceeds will go towards the art scholarship they intend to create for a KP student who shows the same set of values and skills that Horace Hamlin did. If you are interested in any of these iconic Norfolk prints, please contact: hamlin.bp@gmail.com.

"If it weren't for Horace I would not have had a chance to live the life I have. If I can repay his honor and put his name on a scholarship it would make me feel he led me to this kind deed on his behalf!" -Brian Hamlin


Watch this NCTV Rewind video to view some more of his work and below it, an interview with Brian.