About the Nora Houston Foundation

The Nora Houston Foundation, Inc., is a Virginia non-profit corporation established in 2015 to preserve and display the  paintings of Richmond artist, teacher, and activist Nora Houston.

When Nora Houston died in 1942, she left fifty of her paintings in the custody of Adele Clark, her lifelong friend and companion. Clark was member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Richmond’s Ginter park until her death in 1983. In 1972, Clark gave the paints to St. Paul’s Church with the intent they be preserved and displayed. For several years, they were  displayed at St. Paul’s Catholic School, now All Saints Catholic School. Regrettably, the paintings have languished in storage, sometimes not in the best of conditions, since they were removed from the school in 1983.

Nora Houston Paintings


In 2015, Fr.  George Zahn, then pastor of St. Paul’s, and others took steps to honor Clark’s intent when she gave the paintings to the parish. First, the group established the Nora Houston Foundation, Inc., and obtained non-profit status for the Foundation. Second, Fr. Zahn, acting on behalf of the parish, transferred ownership of the paintings to the Foundation.

The Foundation seeks to full the intent of Clark’s gift by restoring and displaying the paintings, which are currently stored in a climate-controlled, secure setting. One of the paintings, Little Cottage in Limerick, has been restored and is scheduled to be displayed at St. Paul’s when the church’s renovation is completed in 2017. Another painting, Suffer the Children to Come Unto Me, a depiction of First Holy Communion at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in the Jackson Ward neighborhood in Richmond, is currently being restored. Founded in 1885 and serving the community until 1969, St. Joseph’s is the oldest African American Catholic organization in Virginia. Once the restoration is completed, the painting will be displayed at the Museum of Virginia Catholic History, located in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond.

For more information about the Nora Houston Foundation, please contact John Tucker, President, at contact@norahouston.org.