Carl Hofer (German, 1878-1955)
30 sketchbook pages, 1944; Matted individually in a cloth bound folio box, two have drawings on both sides; Some are initialed, full signature on single sheet; 8 3/16” x 6 1/2” inches (each); Provenance: The artist; Dr. Edward S. Peck (purchased in 1947); Robert Hilton Simmons (purchased in 1956); Exhibitions: Marian Koogler McNay Art Institute, San Antonio Texas, ca. 1960; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, ca. 1960
Estimate: $18,000 - $24,000
Four of the drawings are initialed. Sheets are in age-appropriate condition considering they have been removed from the original sketchbook. Each sheet is hinged within an individual mat. Some sheets have handling marks, soft creases, rough edge (from being torn from book), and minor areas of discoloration. Some of the sheets have faint toning. Evidence of previous drawings are evident on some of the sheets.
Dr. Edward S. Peck purchased this sketchbook directly from Carl Hofer’s agent in 1947. Dr. Peck was an officer in the United States Army, involved with the Monuments Commission and an aide to General Maxwell Taylor. After the war, he was the chairman of the Art Department at University of Southern California. Dr. Peck and Hofer were personal friends.
Carl Hofer was included in Hitler’s “Entartete Kunst” (Degenerate Art) exhibition in 1937. This exhibition included artists whose work the Nazi’s had sanctioned as Jewish, Communist, or Un-German. In 1943, Hofer’s studio was destroyed by Allied air raids. Paper was incredibly difficult to find in Berlin during the war, particularly for an artist ostracized by the Nazis. In an effort to conserve, Hofer often drew and erased drawings on the same sheet of paper. A number of drawings executed over erased images are included in this lot.
The sketchbook originally included 36 drawings, but four were sold individually at an earlier date. The remaining drawings represent subjects ranging from family and friends of the artist, future projects and depictions of paintings lost in the destruction of the artist’s studio. The sketchbook was disassembled, numbered and matted by Dr. Peck.