Helen Hart Morgan Photo 1912
Photo of Helen Hart Morgan
on her wedding day in 1912
when she was twenty years old.)

Helen Hart Morgan
1892 - 1985

Helen Hart Morgan lived in Burlingame, California, during the 1940's. She was a skilled colorist, and enjoyed doing landscapes. She exhibited for the Society for Sanity in Art at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. Her works are rare.

At times, Helen signed her paintings "Helen Morgan." Unfortunately, this has lead to some confusion. Some of Helen Hart Morgan's work has been mistakenly attributed to Helen van Doorn Morgan (1902-1986) of Springfield, Ohio.

Following is an excerpt from a letter by the artist's grandson.

"My grandmother was born Helen Irene Hart on November 3, 1892, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Orlow Levader Hart and Olive Banner (Freeman) Hart. She married my grandfather Francis Lester Morgan in 1912 and moved with him to a home that he built for her at 1512 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, California. She lived there until 1980 when she was eventually blinded by diabetes and moved in with my parents in

Helen Hart Morgan Mt Diablo

Mt. Shasta from Yreka , circa 1938 - 1939
(According to the artist's grandson, Robert W. Tormey of Salem, OR,
Helen Hart Morgan painted this work plein air from her front porch
while she lived just south of Yreka, CA, located NW of Mt. Shasta.)
Oil on canvas , 21 x 26 1/2


Salem, Oregon. Grandma Helen died July 28, 1985, at age 92 while on vacation with my parents in Campbell River, British Columbia. Even blind, she was always up for a new adventure.

My grandfather's family moved from Ohio to help rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 fire and then they stayed in California. Grandpa Les attended Harvard University in Boston for several years and later started an import/export business, F.L. Morgan Company, with offices in New York and San Francisco. He met Grandma Helen through his Harvard roommate from Omaha and successfully courted her from afar. Grandpa Les was ten years older than Grandma Helen and he died in 1955 at age 73.

Grandma Helen was reportedly very creative as a child and, after several decades of formal artistic training in California, eventually worked in several media up into the late 1950s. We still retain some examples of her ceramic creations, hand-painted china, wood carvings, tapestries, watercolors and oil paintings, none of which are for sale at this time.

Sources: Correspondance with the artist's grandson, Robert Tormey of Salem, Oregon; Artists in California 1786 - 1940, Edan Milton Hughes, 3d ed.