Torvald Arnst Hoyer

born Copenhagen, Denmark 1872-died Chicago, IL 1949
Also known as
  • Thorvald Arnst Hoyer
  • Thorvald Arnt Hoyer
  • Ernest T. H. Hoyer
  • T. A. Hoyer
  • Thorvald Arenst Hoyer
Copenhagen, Denmark
Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • American

Torvald Hoyer apprenticed to a Danish artist at the age of thirteen, cleaning brushes, running errands, and occasionally posing for portraits. He was a successful gymnast in school, and decided to join a “tumbling team” so that he could travel around the world. Hoyer was the “understander” (the man who supports a human pyramid) in a vaudeville act for more than twenty years, performing in many countries. He spent all of his free time sketching in museums, and once claimed to have seen every famous painting in the world. While on a trip to Switzerland, he married a Danish “toe dancer” and then settled in Chicago. Hoyer painted images inspired by the places he had seen and applied each color in painstaking layers of tiny dots. (“Masters of Popular Painting,” in collaboration with the Grenoble Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, n.d., and “Neoterics’ Acrobat,” Time, February 3, 1936)