Malvina Cornell Hoffman (1885-1966) studied with Rodin from 1910 until his death in 1917, and is perhaps best known for her monumental bronze series, “The Races of Mankind,” commissioned in 1930 by Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.
Hoffman’s commission from the Field Museum sent the sculptor on a world tour for more than eight months. She produced a total of 104 monumental bronze figures, which were unveiled at the opening of the Field Museum’s Hall of Man on June 6, 1933.
Hoffman first won acclaim for her bronze sculpture of Russian dancer Anna Pavlova, and also studied with Gutzon Borgium of Mount Rushmore fame. Her first major sculpture was “The Sacrifice,” a massive memorial to Harvard University’s war dead. In 1925, Hoffman unveiled her most significant architectural sculpture, “To the Friendship of the English Speaking People,” at Bush House in London. Unflappable Londoners were startled by the sight of Hoffman clambering over her massive statuary putting finishing touches on the work.