About Us


In 2017 discussions began for the formation of the North Carolina Gallery of Fine Art. The principals were Mr. John Clell Hamm of Wilmington, NC and Mr. John Rutledge Short of Chapel Hill, NC. They had recently discovered the “lost ” face of Lincoln by the noted American sculptor Robert Merrell Gage in Mr. Short’s personal collection and realized that a new gallery would be necessary for the production and promotion of this rare art find. Please go to the Face of Lincoln Page on this website to read about History of this remarkable piece of art and the raison d’etre of this new gallery. The Face of Lincoln bronze will be our first presentation, but expect more great plein air and realist paintings and objects of art from Mr. Short’s collection and also from notable 20th Century and contemporary artists to be listed in the upcoming year.


Mr. Hamm has been collecting 19th century fine art for the past decade, and Mr. Short, an art conservator, has been in the art world for the last forty-eight years. His clientele has included many famous people and institutions including the University of North Carolina, Duke University, The National Endowment for the Arts,The William Rand Kenan Trust, Liggett Group, Inc., The State of North Carolina, The 21 Club of New York City, Mr. Frank Kenan, Mr. George Watts Hill, Miss Beverly Sills, Mrs. Nelson Rockefeller, Governor Luther Hodges, Governor Terry Sanford, Mrs. Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson. The Short family has been involved in North Carolina art since the 1930s.


The purpose of the NCGFA is to bring quality art to those individuals and organizations that share our passion for 19th, 20th, and 21st century fine art and sculpture.