Fashion Design Sketches by Nancy B. Hamon

Nancy Hamon was born on December 12, 1918 in San Antonio, Texas to McMaster Blackburn and Estelle Blackburn (known as Mamacita). She studied paleontology at the University of Texas at Austin in the late 1930s for a short time before leaving for her first marriage which lasted only four years. She then briefly worked in Hollywood as a dancer with a small dance group led by Russian ballet master David Lichine and appeared in films such as Tropicana (1943) and The Heat’s On (1943). During World War II, she spent a year in Hawaii with an Army special services acting troupe, playing the lead in Petticoat Fever opposite a young Carl Reiner. She married Jake L. Hamon in 1949 and moved to Dallas. Mrs. Hamon was an extraordinary hostess and was known for the extravagant theme parties she hosted with her husband during the 1950s and 1960s. Themes included circus, Moulin Rouge and others, even a Silent Movies theme party which featured Louis Armstrong.

Mrs. Hamon was a legendary philanthropist and Dallas benefitted from her enormous generosity, particularly to the arts, education and medicine. For example, Mrs. Hamon contributed millions of dollars to such causes as the Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library at Southern Methodist University, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Winspear Opera House, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, the Dallas Zoo, The University of Texas at Dallas, the Salvation Army, the Dallas Public Library, Buckner Children and Family Services of North Texas, the African American Museum at Fair Park, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; the Dallas Theater Center; and numerous other causes in other cities such as San Antonio, San Francisco and New York.

Mrs. Hamon’s fashion design sketches were completed while she was in her late teens and early twenties. The vibrant sketches were made using tempera, watercolor, pen and pencil on paper. These wonderfully executed sketches demonstrate Mrs. Hamon’s remarkable talent and lifelong passion for the arts and fashion.

“My philosophy is that I want to live my life with some style and some panache and to leave the world better than I found it.” – Nancy Hamon

Dates: September 24-December 13, 2015

Place: Mildred Hawn Gallery, Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library

Open during regular library hours:

Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.

Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday 1 p.m. – 12 a.m.


Source: “Nancy Hamon”, Dallas Morning News, October 23, 1988

Image: Untitled, ca. 1933-1942 by Nancy Hamon, Courtesy of the Jake and Nancy Hamon Papers, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University.