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 fulfill the intent of Clark’s gift by restoring and displaying the paintings, which are currently stored in a climate-controlled, secure setting. To date, nine of the paintings have been restored.  Currently, the restored paintings are on display at Commonwealth Catholic Charities in Richmond.  Three of the restored paintings are scheduled to be exhibited at the Museum of Virginia Catholic History at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond starting in May 2020 as part of the Bicentennial celebration of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.

For more information about the Nora Houston Foundation, please contact John Tucker, President, at jtuckeriii@comcast.net.