Monday, February 22, 2016

Helen Hoffman Artist Influenced by Francis Quirk at Ogontz College- We mourn her passing.



We are sad to report the death of one of Francis Quirk's students at Ogontz College. Helen Bacon Hoffman was gracious in sharing her memories of Francis and Ogontz  College and we had a delightful conversation. Her obituary is pasted below. 



Helen Bacon Hoffman, known to friends as "Biddy," passed away on November 8, 2017, at the age of 87 years. Helen is survived by her husband of 66 years, Richard, her children, Kathi (Terry), Rick (Faith), and Cindy (Alex), five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and her brother, Stanley Bacon.

Helen was a renowned artist whose medium included oils and pastels. Her unique talent was in the tone she set through the action of light, shadows and reflected light. In each of her paintings, she produced exquisite depictions of everyday settings made extraordinary by beautifully drawn contrasts of light and shadow.

Helen always said, "I want to explore the familiar, to discover the world around me, rather than create one of my own. Whether it is in the bustle of a market place or the quiet moment of a reader with his book, there is a mood created that I try to share on canvas. I want to involve my viewers and give them a moment of pleasure."

Helen was born in San Antonio, Texas and began studying art as a teenager with the noted Southwest artist, Hugo Pohl. She later studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York City and with the world famous artist, Herbert E. Abrams.

When she married Army officer, Richard, her husband's career meant worldwide travel. Helen took advantage of her nomadic life by painting wherever she found herself, often returning to her former haunts of Hawaii, Mexico and Europe to paint. Helen also found intriguing subjects for her paintings in Florida, her residence since 1986.

One of Helen's favorite sources of artistic inspiration was her greenhouse where she cultivated exotic orchids and became an active member of the Jacksonville Orchid Society. When Helen retired and moved from her Deerwood home to Fleet Landing, Atlantic Beach, she donated her lifetime orchid collection to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Helen's career included an impressive listing of art awards, shows, and permanent art exhibits. She also won many statewide awards for her orchids.


Our original post 

In our ongoing quest to learn more about the forgotten master painter Francis Quirk, we have come across one of his students. Interestingly, Helen Hoffman worked in both oils and pastels. These media were also used by Quirk. 

We have reached out to Helen through her family and she graciously provided a few memories of him. While in his class in 1948, she said he was tall, strict but nice. Hiis history of art class was first thing in the morning and he frequently would call out her name to ensure that she was paying attention. But he also paid attention to the sketches and oils that Helen produced; telling her that she was the best draftsman he had ever had. And a survey of Helen's works shows that she certainly has a skilled hand.

The following is from her website.

Helen Bacon Hoffman is a realist who works in both oils and pastels. Hoffman’s unique talent is in the tone she sets through the action of light, shadows and reflected light. In each of her paintings, the viewer will observe exquisite depictions of everyday settings made extraordinary by beautifully drawn contrasts of light and shadow. Maturity of expression and dramatic mood are the hallmarks of all her works.




Helen Hoffman artist
Artist Helen Hoffman who studied with Francis Quirk at Ogontz College


Hoffman says “I want to explore the familiar, to discover the world around me, rather than create one of my own. Whether it is in the bustle of a market place or the quiet moment of a reader with his book, there is a mood created that I try to share on canvas. I want to involve my viewers and give them a moment of pleasure.”

Helen Hoffman was born in San Antonio, Texas and began studying art as a teenager with the noted Southwest artist, Hugo Pohl. She majored in art at Ogontz College, now a part of the University of Pennsylvania, and continued her studies at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. Later, Hoffman studied with the world famous artist, Herbert E. Abrams at West Point, NY.

When she married an Army officer, Richard Hoffman, her husband’s career meant travel for her and her three children. His frequent overseas assignments required that she balance her artistic career with managing home and family. Hoffman took advantage of her nomadic life by painting wherever she found herself. Even now, she returns to her former haunts of Hawaii, Mexico and Europe to paint. Hoffman also finds intriguing subjects for her paintings in Florida, her current residence. One of Hoffman’s favorite sources of inspiration is her greenhouse where she cultivates exotic orchids.
Her works are in several prominent collections.


Exhibitions in Major Collections

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art , Kansas City, Missouri
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA
The Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL
The Instituto Norte Americano Mexicano de Relationes Culturales, Mexico City, Mexico
.
Interestingly, Hoffman's  work seems to have some similarity to Quirk’s in both subject matter and technique. We have provided some paintings in close juxtaposition for your consideration. It appears that Hoffman has technically matched her one-time teacher.

Allison- Portrait By Helen Hoffman
Morning News- Portrait By Helen Hoffman

Portrait by Francis Quirk



Pas de Deux by Helen Hoffman
Ibises by Francis J. Quirk



Artwork By Helen Hoffman

Shrimper by Francis Quirk  Image Courtesy of Canton Museum of Art




Breaking Wave- Portrait By Helen Hoffman

Biddle Pool Maine by Francis Quirk Oil on Canvas Image Courtesy of Lehigh University


 Haying by Helen Hoffman

Painting possibly by Francis Quirk



















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