Alvin Hattorf was born in Newport News in 1899 and grew up in Richmond. Alvin began painting as a hobby around 1930. He studied painting in New York at the Art Students League where he met his wife, Helen. He focused mainly on abstractions of landscape and urban scenes. Helen Hattorf’s interest in painting began at the age of twelve. Their art was exhibited in every major art show in Virginia from 1941 until their deaths in the 1970’s.
“Alvin Frederick Hattorf and Helen King Hattorf hold a very special place in the history of Richmond art. People who knew them will tell you they were somewhat eccentric, living only for their passion to paint.” -– Robert Merritt, Richmond Times Dispatch, April 1980