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Norman Morrison Isham
Norman Isham
American, 1864 - 1943
Biography: Noted architect, particularly in the area of early American architecture. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Henry and Frances Elizabeth (Smyth) Isham. His father died when Isham was young. Isham was adopted when in his teens and at that point, moved to Rhode Island. He attended preparatory school in Providence, and went on to receive both his undergraduate and Master's degrees in art from Brown University in 1886 and 1890, respectively. His professional life as an architect began while he was still working on his education, for the firm Stone, Carpenter, & Wilson in 1886. He left there in 1892 to work for a brief time independently. From 1894-1896, he was head draftsman for the office of Martin & Hall; then, from 1899-1903, he went into practice with a partner, Benjamin Wright (1871-1962). Isham worked independently as an architect from 1903 on. However, throughout his career he was also teaching in his field: at Brown University (1894-1898) and at the Rhode Island School of Design (1920-1923, and after 1933). From the years 1912 to 1920, and 1923 to 1933, Isham was director of the department of architecture at RISD. He wrote several books on early American architecture.