Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Published by Didi Hoffman
Writer, promoter of the arts and biographer of Malvina Hoffman (1885-1966) ~ America's Rodin.
Malvina Hoffman was a true pioneer in the 20th century, an American treasure who led the way for women's art and the business of art. An indefatigable woman who never saw an obstacle in life, especially in sculpture, her field of work, which was truly a man's world in her lifetime. My goal with this biography is to bring her name back out of the basements of the finest art museums in America and return Malvina to her rightful place in history.
Malvina's life was epic and over the top exciting but most important, she represented a great move forward in women's rights in the 20th century, especially in women's art.
A great friend and student of Auguste Rodin, Malvina Hoffman was asked by the curators of the Musee Rodin to reinstall his works at the museum when it opened, after his death, after World War 1.
Musee Rodin curators, knowing Malvina's talent and great friendship with Rodin, also asked her to speak at the museum's opening. For over six weeks, she and Rodin cataloged and then hid his work in the basement of the Musee Rodin prior to the war for safekeeping. It was right she honored Rodin at the opening, as she knew him best and cared for him deeply.
In 1930, The Field Museum in Chicago commissioned Malvina to create the largest bronze exhibit known to date. In just three years Malvina traveled the world and created 105 life size bronzes for the Hall of Mankind. An incredible feat for only one sculptor and she did it beautifully. Over three million people saw the exhibit, one million in the first year.
Malvina Hoffman was considered a modern sculptor. She studied art and was friends with many of the greatest artists from Paris in the early 20th century. She was loved by all and known for her great salon parties at her Sniffen Court studio in New York City. Artists and musicians gathered there often for many a creative evening.
Along with Malvina's many awards and commissions for outstanding works in sculpture, she was also recognized by the highest institutions in art and education for her contribution to art. Her book "Sculpture Inside and Out" is still used as a reference today.
Until her death she was a household name, in art, on radio and in print. She deserves her rightful place back in history, women's history and the history of art in America.
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