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Malvina Hoffman

Malvina Hoffman
Clara Sipprell, 31 Oct 1885 - 27 Dec 1975
Malvina Cornell Hoffman, 15 Jun 1885 - 10 Jul 1966
c. 1928
Gelatin silver print
Image/Sheet: 25.3 × 20.3 cm (9 15/16 × 8")
Mount: 28.1 × 21.5 cm (11 1/16 × 8 7/16")
Mat: 55.9 × 40.6 cm (22 × 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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Malvina Hoffman's success in 1909 in modeling her father's features in clay convinced her to give up her ambitions as a painter and instead travel to Paris to train as a sculptor. One of the crucial influences on her development was the Ballets Russes, which instilled her career-long concern with creating a sense of animation in her work. Nowhere was that more apparent than in her first major artistic triumph, Bachanale Russe, a high-spirited composition portraying two dancing figures.
Hoffman sometimes felt that to compete in a field dominated by men she had to exceed the norms expected of most sculptors. Once noting a need for slight modification of a huge outdoor figural piece in London, she was soon on scaffolding ninety feet above the ground, making the adjustment with hammer and chisel. It seemed, her friend Marianne Moore marveled, "as if she had wings and carried a torch."
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection