“My fiction now is that I want to be the best totally unknown painter in the world.”
Robert Hamilton almost fulfilled his fantasy. He was an influential, modernist painter in New England in the last half of the 20th century – an idiosyncratic genius highly respected for improvisation, but relatively unknown today.
He was born in Seneca Falls, NY, entered Rhode Island School of Design in 1935, and earned his degree in painting in 1939. He then earned a Distinguished Flying Cross in World War II as a captain and P47 bomber pilot with 100 missions. In 1948, he returned to RISD to teach painting and drawing. Hamilton taught 34 years at RISD, mentored many successful painters, produced well over 600 paintings, had many exhibits, has work in many private, university and museum collections, and was presented as a “Maine Master” on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.
He concentrated on painting almost every day for over 55 years.