Samuel Verplanck Hoffman (1866-1942)
Oil on canvas
canvas: 54 x 36 in. (137.2 x 91.4 cm) frame: 65 3/4 x 48 x 4 1/2 in. (65 3/4 x 48 x 4 1/2 in.)
Signed and dated lower right: Carroll Beckwith / 1907
A portrait of Samuel Verplanck Hoffman, president of the N-YHS from 1903-1912. The subject is wearing a black suit and vest with a white shirt and burgundy tie. A white handkerchief protrudes from his left jacket pocket and, sticking out of his corresponding breast pocket, is a blue and gold metallic emblem. His brown eyes contain specks of brilliant blue and the presence of gray streaks in his mostly dark hair, beard and mustache reveal slight signs of aging. The subject's left hand, which is adorned with a blue pinky ring, clutches a gold object. His right hand, clenched in a fist position with the thumb jutting out, is pressing on a glass-top wooden desk, located to his right.
The son of Rev. Eugene Augustus Hoffman and Mary Crooke (Elmendorf) Hoffman of New Brunswick, N.J., Samuel Verplanck Hoffman at first pursued a career in astronomy; he studied and taught the subject at Johns Hopkins University for several years until management of his father's extensive properties in New York demanded his full attention. After becoming a life member of the N-YHS in 1901, Samuel continued a family legacy and succeeded his father as its president. He served from 1903-1912.
Painted for the Society
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.