Frank Hoffman



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FRANK B. HOFFMAN (Am. 1888-1958)


Growing up in New Orleans where his father raced horses, Frank Hoffman developed a great love for these animals, which was reflected in his paintings. He worked as an illustrator for the "Chicago American" newspaper, which gave him an opportunity to draw many subjects from opera to prize fights, and eventually he became head of the department. During that time, he took formal art training from J. Wellington Reynolds, a portrait painter.

In 1916, having been rejected for military service because of poor eyesight, he went West and lived with cowboys and Indian tribes and served as public relations director for Glacier National Park. Eventually he settled on a ranch near Taos, New Mexico, and became part of that art colony and studied with Leon Gaspard, who encouraged him to use color freely.

Advertisers including General Motors, General Electric, and the Great Northern Railway hired him because they loved his bold, broad brush work and striking colors. He also did magazine illustrations, specializing in western subjects. Because of the spaciousness of his ranch that he called Hobby Horse Rancho, he kept live models of cow ponies, thoroughbred horses, longhorn steers, several breeds of dogs, eagles, a bear and burros.

From 1940 Brown & Bigelow Publishing Company of St. Paul, Minnesota had him under exclusive contract, and during the next 14 years, he produced 150 paintings for that company.

Source: Walt Reed, The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000

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