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Retrospective: William M. Hoffman, Jr.

August 22 - November 9, 2014

 

The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley recently announced the opening of its latest exhibition, Retrospective: William M. Hoffman, Jr. The exhibition features fifty-four oil, casein and watercolor paintings plus a pair of graphite-on-paper works spanning Hoffman's sixty-two year career. Retrospective: William M. Hoffman, Jr. opens August 22 and will remain on view through November 9, 2014. (right: William M. Hoffman, Jr., Self Portrait as a Two Streeter, 1968, Egg oil and oil on panel, 26 x 20 inches.)

Most days, one can find Hoffman painting en plein air amongst the Ligonier countryside or Downtown Latrobe, PA, capturing landmark architecture, farms with rolling hills or bubbling wooded streams. His Ligonier studio is full of work from past to present, each offering a palette full of rich color and tranquil beauty. Hoffman brings his subjects to life with an impressionistic style that seems to capture movement and energy with every brushstroke.

Featured in the exhibition is a selection of Hoffman's most noted figure compositions, portraits and landscapes spanning a career working and painting in Latrobe, Ligonier, Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. Born in Blairsville in 1934, Hoffman was a professor of fine arts at Rutgers University from 1967 to 2000 and also chaired the University's art department for more than fifteen years. In 2000, Hoffman retired in Ligonier where he lives and paints today. His breath-taking paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally and are included in numerous private and public collections.

"This exhibition offers an opportunity to view a collection of work by a well-known and highly accomplished artist," said SAMA-Ligonier Valley Coordinator Sommer Toffle. "Visitors will be able to see how Hoffman's work has evolved throughout his life. I once asked an artist, 'How long did it take you to complete this piece?' He replied, 'eighty-two years,' which was the artist's age at the time. This retrospective is a perfect example of the results of a lifetime of dedication to art."

The Museum will celebrate the exhibition with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 23. The exhibition is open to the public free of charge, though reservations are requested. For reservations or additional information, please call the Museum at (724) 238-6015.

Hoffman will return to the Museum for a Lunch a l'Art program on Wednesday, September 18. The program runs from noon until 2 p.m. and includes lunch and a presentation by the artist. There is a fee for attendance. Reservations are required by September 15 and can be made by calling the Museum.

 

William M. Hoffman, Jr. biography

William M. Hoffman, Jr. was born in Blairsville, Pennsylvania and grew up in nearby Latrobe. For over three decades he resided in Philadelphia and South Jersey, where he met and married his wife Bonnie (1970) and raised two sons, Sean and George. He currently resides in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
 
Upon graduating Latrobe High School in 1951, Hoffman commuted to Pittsburgh to study commercial art at the Simboli School of Art. On the recommendation of a respected artist friend and after a decision to pursue fine art, Hoffman moved to Philadelphia and registered for study at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). Hoffman put himself through college and later graduate school with the help of scholarships, jobs in the department of the Philadelphia Bulletin and the Philadelphia Department of Recreation, and later as a substitute teacher in the Philadelphia School System. His college years were interrupted by a two-year stint in the military, which was delayed so he could fulfill a prestigious Cresson Traveling Scholarship Award that included three months of travel in Europe. In 1962, Hoffman earned a B.F.A from the University of Pennsylvania through its coordinated program with the PAFA. Hoffman earned his M.F.A at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia in 1967.
 
From 1967 through 2000, Hoffman taught art and art history at Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey. During his tenure at the university, Hoffman painted over seventy major works featuring the cityscape of Camden. He is a two-time recipient of a Visual Arts Fellowship Grant from New Jersey State Council on the Arts to execute a series of paintings of historical buildings in Camden and is well represented in the city's art collection.
 
Upon retiring in 2000 as Professor Emeritus of Rutgers University, Hoffman returned to his Western Pennsylvania roots. He currently maintains a studio in Ligonier where he pursues his passion for painting.
 
Hoffman's portrait, landscape, cityscape and figure composition paintings have been exhibited in numerous one-person and group shows nationally and in London, England. His work can be found in many private and corporate collections as well as in the New Jersey State Museum.

 

Curator's Statement

Most days, one can find William M. Hoffman, Jr. painting en plein air amongst the Ligonier countryside or Downtown Latrobe, capturing landmark architecture, farms with rolling hills or bubbling wooded streams. His Ligonier studio is full of work from past to present, each offering a palette full of rich color and tranquil beauty. Hoffman brings his subjects to life with an impressionistic style that seems to capture movement and energy with every brushstroke. Hoffman has literally been painting since childhood, and this exhibition reflects on the artist's impressive oeuvre with a collection of fifty-six brilliant paintings and drawings.
 
Featured in this exhibition is a selection of the artist's most noted figure compositions, portraits and landscapes spanning a sixty-two year career working and painting in Philadelphia, Latrobe, Ligonier and Camden, New Jersey. Born in Blairsville in 1934, Hoffman was a Professor of Fine Arts at Rutgers University from 1967 to 2000 and also chaired the University's art department for more than fifteen years. In 2000, Hoffman retired in Ligonier where he lives and paints today. His breath-taking paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally and are included in numerous private and public collections. The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley is pleased to be able to offer our patrons this retrospective of one of our region's most accomplished and talented artists.
 
 
Sommer Toffle
Coordinator, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley
 



(above: William M. Hoffman, Jr., Standard Steel (Alco), 1963, Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches.)

 

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