"The artwork ranges from early-20th-century European to mid-century modern. There is a fair amount of West Virginia art, along with political and historical memorabilia," Hamsher said in describing the eclectic collection.
"Mr. Hamilton collected a lot of signatures and historical documents," Hamsher said, pointing out an 1879 letter from Alfred, Lord Tennyson, a 1910 letter from Booker T. Washington, a 1936 letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt and an American Express document signed by Henry Wells and William G. Fargo.
"There is also a lot of West Virginia glass, mainly from the '50s, along with interesting coal mining memorabilia," Hamsher said.
"This show will run through the end of the year, and we will replenish as things move along," Hamsher said.
Patti Hamilton believes her parents' art and book collecting dates to when they were first married in 1950. They met when he was an FBI agent, assigned to Montana to round up cattle rustlers, and she was a high school English teacher in Miles City.
A graduate of the WVU College of Law, Pat Hamilton returned to West Virginia with his wife and two young daughters to practice in Fayette County. For a few years, Helen Hamilton taught English and Spanish at Collins High School in Oak Hill.
Pat Hamilton served two terms in the West Virginia Senate and three terms in the House of Delegates. He made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1980.
Helen Hamilton also was active in the Democratic Party, serving on the National Platform Committee and on the state Executive Committee for 22 years and was elected as a delegate to Democratic national conventions from 1972 through 1988.
Pat and Helen Hamilton were civic leaders in Fayette County and were instrumental in leading efforts to obtain federal protection for the New River Gorge.
Reach Judy E. Hamilton at judy.hamil...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.