Eleanor Tulman Hancock

In Memoriam: Eleanor Tulman Hancock


Eleanor Tulman Hancock, respected dealer in North American Indian Art, died after a brief illness on June l5, 2017.  Eleanor is survived by her beloved son Mason and granddaughter Leah, and her husband of 46 years, James.  Eleanor was predeceased by her dear brother Eli and former husbands, the composer Lan Adomian and physicist Marcel Weinrich.  

After college, Eleanor began a career as an actress in New York City. She pursued a Master’s Degree in English from Union College, Schenectady, NY, and worked in Public Relations before discovering her passion for American Indian jewelry, which led to an intensive study of American Indian Art. 

A highly-respected dealer for over 50 years, she specialized in notable examples of American Indian jewelry, pottery, basketry, textiles (including several Navaho First Phase Chief blankets), Kachinas, beadwork, and art of the Northwest Coast and Inuit. Eleanor became a trusted adviser to major collectors and museums in the United States and in Europe. Objects, formerly in her collection, are exhibited in many museums including the Ralph T. Coe and the Charles and Valerie Diker collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Thaw Collection at the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; and in the Ralph T. Coe Foundation collection of American Indian Art, Santa Fe.  Works from her personal collection were included in exhibitions at the American Museum of Natural History, The Brooklyn Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian, of which she was an early supporter.

Eleanor was a long-time member of the Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association and the Appraiser’s Association of America.  A devotee of all the arts, Eleanor shared her love of theater, museums, ballet and concerts with her many devoted friends.  She will be remembered for her indomitable spirit, generosity, and unfailing concern for friends and family, as well as her fashion flair, which always included spectacular antique silver and turquoise jewelry. Eleanor was a longtime supporter of NOW.   Memorials are planned for late September and early October in Gloucester, MA and New York.  For details, please write: EleanorHancockMemorial@gmail.com.