George Heard Hamilton, Was Authority in Art World

George Heard Hamilton, a longtime summer resident of Edgartown, recently died. He was 93.

He was born in Pittsburgh, Penn., to Frank Arthur Hamilton and Georgia Heard on June 23, 1910. He entered Yale University in 1928 and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in 1932, 1934 and 1942. After being involved in setting up the Walters Art Gallery in 1935, he returned to Yale where he would remain until 1966, by which time he was a full professor and had been assistant curator of the art gallery there. In 1966 he moved to Williamstown to become director of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute where he would create a graduate program in art history. He retired as director in 1977 and continued teaching until 1985.

Mr. Hamilton served as a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Hillstead Museum in Farmington, Conn. He was considered a leading authority on twentieth century art and lectured widely. He authored nine books on art history and had a wide circle of friends in the art world, including many artists.

In 1956, Mr. Hamilton and his wife, Polly, purchased a property on Trapps Pond in Edgartown where they summered with their children and grandchildren until recently. They continued to visit as recently as last summer. He was a longtime member of the Edgartown Yacht Club. On a summer afternoon, he could often be found sailing his pram around the pond. He was an avid gardener who brought his sense of art, color and composition to his gardens to great effect. He was known for his lively sense of wit; a trait he kept to the end. He leaves his wife, Polly Hamilton, of Williamstown; a daughter, Jennet LaCasse, of Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; a son, Richard Hamilton, of Edgartown; and two grandchildren, Rebecca and Seth Hamilton, of Edgartown, on whom he doted.