Malvina Hoffman (American,1885–1966)

Hoffman is an important sculptor who created life-size bronze figures. She also worked in plaster and marble on portrait busts of working-class people and artists. Dancers and composers were often subjects of her work, much of which is today in the collection of the New York Historical Society. Hoffman maintained a salon, a social gathering of artistic acquaintances, for many years. She was highly skilled in foundry techniques and cast her own work. She published a definitive work on the craft, Sculpture Inside and Out, in 1939.

Malvina took classes at the Woman’s School for Applied Design and the Art Students League of New York, and then moved to Europe with her mother where they attended the ballet of Alexander Glazunov’s Autumn Bacchanale where Hoffman became inspired. She would become an early well-known and respected female sculptor. Her work is in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University; and the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa.