GERARD HOFFNUNG (1925-1959)

Gerard Hoffnung

Gerard Hoffnung (1925-1959)


Gerard Hoffnung developed a unique vein of gentle, yet powerful humour through drawings, lectures and even concerts – for his favourite subject read more...

Gerard Hoffnung
Gerard Hoffnung (1925-1959)

Gerard Hoffnung developed a unique vein of gentle, yet powerful humour through drawings, lectures and even concerts – for his favourite subject was music at its most delightful and daft.

Gerard Hoffnung was born into a prosperous Jewish family in Berlin on 22 March 1925, and as a child already made a reputation for himself as a disruptive influence. Due to the anti-semitic policies of the Nazis, he left Germany with his mother in 1938 and settled in London. There he attended Highgate School and, later, Hornsey School of Art where he failed through lack of seriousness. His major talent was for comic drawing and, contributing to Lilliput from the age of 15, he became staff artist on the London Evening News and on New York’s Flair magazine; other periodical work included cartoons for Punch. He also taught art at Stamford School (1944) and Harrow School (1945-50).

Himself an amateur musician, Hoffnung made musical life his central subject in his cartoons for periodicals and in such books as
The Hoffnung Orchestra (1955). He originated a series of humorous concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, and used the foyers for solo shows in 1951 and 1956. A bon viveur and raconteur, he was a frequent broadcaster and often spoke at the Oxford and Cambridge Unions, but he also had a quiet and concerned aspect which is illustrated by his work as a prison visitor. His sudden death on 28 September 1959 was marked in the following year by a memorial concert at the Royal Festival Hall and such concerts continue to give delight to many appreciative audiences.

During May and June 2011, Chris Beetles Gallery played host to the now famous international touring exhibition of work by Gerard Hoffnung, drawn from the family’s own collection and chosen by his widow, Annetta Hoffnung. It was its first appearance in London for over a decade.

Further reading: Annetta Hoffnung, Gerard Hoffnung, London: Gordon Fraser, 1988; Richard Ingrams (rev), Hoffnung, Gerard [
formerly Gerhardt] (1925-1959)’, in H C G Matthew and Brian Harrison (eds), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, vol 27, pages 523-524

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BARBARA
MEAN, MOODY AND MAGNIFICENT AND 21 TO-DAY by GERARD HOFFNUNG

BARBARA MEAN, MOODY AND MAGNIFICENT AND 21 TO-DAY

... HE DOES ODD CHORES ROUND THE HOUSE ... by GERARD HOFFNUNG

... HE DOES ODD CHORES ROUND THE HOUSE ...

DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS by GERARD HOFFNUNG

DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS

HOW THINGS GROW by GERARD HOFFNUNG

HOW THINGS GROW

PIGLETS by GERARD HOFFNUNG

PIGLETS

TOSSING FOR THE CABER by GERARD HOFFNUNG

TOSSING FOR THE CABER

"I GUESS I ALWAYS WANTED TO MEET A MILLIONAIRE" by GERARD HOFFNUNG

"I GUESS I ALWAYS WANTED TO MEET A MILLIONAIRE"

NOCTURNAL ACTIVITIES by GERARD HOFFNUNG

NOCTURNAL ACTIVITIES

PLANT HOSPITAL by GERARD HOFFNUNG

PLANT HOSPITAL

SUNFLOWER SUNBATHING by GERARD HOFFNUNG

SUNFLOWER SUNBATHING

KEEP OFF THE GRASS by GERARD HOFFNUNG

KEEP OFF THE GRASS

PREHISTORIC HARVESTING by GERARD HOFFNUNG

PREHISTORIC HARVESTING

UMBRELLA SEEDS by GERARD HOFFNUNG

UMBRELLA SEEDS

FRIED EGG by GERARD HOFFNUNG

FRIED EGG

EGGSTATIC by GERARD HOFFNUNG

EGGSTATIC

UP THE GARDEN PATH by GERARD HOFFNUNG

UP THE GARDEN PATH

'NELLIE THE PIG' & 'DIAMOND-TOOTHED GERTIE' TWO RIP-ROARING CHARACTERS by GERARD HOFFNUNG

'NELLIE THE PIG' & 'DIAMOND-TOOTHED GERTIE' TWO RIP-ROARING CHARACTERS

DOCTOR LISTENING TO THE CAR'S ENGINE by GERARD HOFFNUNG

DOCTOR LISTENING TO THE CAR'S ENGINE

THE WITCH by GERARD HOFFNUNG

THE WITCH

YAWNING by GERARD HOFFNUNG

YAWNING

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