Frank Hoffman1888 - 1958
Born: 1888, Chicago, Illinois
Died: March 11, 1958, Taos, New Mexico
As a boy, Frank Hoffman spent the majority of his time around his father's stables riding and sketching the horses. His first art job was as an illustrator for the Chicago American newspaper. He also took classes from J. Wellington Reynolds while in Chicago. Throughout his life, Hoffman illustrated for magazines, such as The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, and McCall's. He also worked on national advertising campaigns for companies, such as General Motors, General Electric, and others. In 1916, he traveled through Montana, working as a public relations director at Glacier National Park and later moved to Taos, New Mexico. He spent time with cowboys and Indians during his travels, living briefly with the Blackfeet and learning their language. He settled on a working ranch in Taos, using his own horses, longhorns, dogs, eagles, and burros as models for his illustrations and paintings.
Although Hoffman is known primarily as an illustrator and painter, he also sculpted prior to 1940. From 1940 to 1953, Hoffman worked exclusively for Brown & Bigelow, the premier calendar company in the United States and produced over 150 western paintings for them, which effectively ended his sculpture career. Although creating images for calendars did not pay as well as illustration work, Hoffman had much greater freedom in terms of subject matter as Brown & Bigelow allowed him to paint what he wished. Most of his original paintings remain in the private collection of the calendar company. The artist's eyesight became so poor in 1953 that he could no longer produce art, and for the last five years of his life, Hoffman concentrated on racing his thoroughbred horses.