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Malvina Hoffman Portrait

Malvina Hoffman Portrait

Malvina Hoffman

Also Known as: Malvina Cornell Hoffman

New York, New York 1885

New York, New York 1966

Photo Caption:
Malvina Hoffman, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0119899

Photo Caption:
Malvina Hoffman, Self Portrait, 1929, limestone, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Gift of the Charles Lamson Hoffman Family 1985.73.3.


Sculptor. She studied painting with John White Alexander at the Art Students League and sculpture with Gutzon Borglum and Auguste Rodin. On commission from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, she sculpted for exhibition display 100 ethnic types, which she titled the Living Races of Man (1929–1933).

Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Malvina Hoffman was encouraged to study art at a young age. She began as a painter, and made her first sculpture of her father, a concert pianist and composer. After he died, Hoffman and her mother moved to London, and then Paris, where she convinced Auguste Rodin to take her on as an apprentice. She traveled to distant countries including Japan, India, China, Bali, and Burma, creating 105 sculptures of people from around the world for the Chicago Field Museum’s “Hall of Man.” Although her artwork made her famous, she also used her sculpting ability to help others by making prosthetic limbs and medical models for prenatal study.