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 Richard Peter Hoffman  (1911 - 1997)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania      Known for: precisionist landscape and still life painting, photography

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Richard Peter Hoffman
An example of work by Richard Peter Hoffman
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Jim's Of Lambertville:
Richard Peter Hoffman was a precisionist painter, photographer and designer.  Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1911, Hoffman was born into an eighth generation Pennsylvania German family.  He was the only child of successful local merchants, his father owning a grocery store and his mother a millinery shop.  Hoffman studied at Mercersburg Academy, the New York School of Fine and Applied Art and the Parsons School of Design.

Hoffman began his career painting traditional impressionist landscapes in watercolor, similar to those of the group surrounding Walter Baum at the Baum School.  Inspired by the work of the modernist and precisionist painters, his style began to change dramatically.  Never abandoning his Pennsylvania German cultural roots, most of his precisionist landscapes incorporate Pennsylvania German folk art motifs.  His work has a lively palette and representational themes that combine hard and soft edges showing the obvious influence of fellow Pennsylvania Modernist, Charles Sheeler.  His mediums combine casein, watercolor, India ink and crayon giving his paintings a unique surface.

Hoffman was not prolific, producing only 189 paintings between 1946 and 1965.  As each work was carefully composed and tediously perfected, like many artists, Hoffman would become attached to his masterpiece and would not want to part with it. This is largely the reason why Richard Peter Hoffman is not as well known among precisionist collectors today.  It was not until the end of his life that his paintings were dispersed and so far, few have surfaced.

An avid photographer, Hoffman stopped painting in 1965 to concentrate on his photography.  He also had an interest in the theater and designed sets for local productions.

He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Watercolor Society, The American Watercolor Society, The National Society of Painters in Casein, the Audubon Artists, the Woodmere Art Museum (1950 award, 1952 prize, 1962 award), the Knickerbocker Artists (1955 award) and the Philadelphia Commercial Museum (1965 award).


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