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Guide to the Kim Hoffmann Photograph Collection
1937-1980 (bulk 1949-1960)
 PR 77

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Jenny Gotwals

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on December 13, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The Kim Hoffmann collection spans the period from 1937 to 1980 and primarily contains photographs of interior and industrial designs by the interior design firm Hoffmann and Heidrich. The collection is divided into five series: Commissions; Installations and Trade Shows; Product Files; Publicity and Correspondence; and Personal Photographs.

While the collection is primarily concerned with the activity of the firm of Hoffmann and Heidrich, it also contains material associated with Paul Bry, and examples of both Hoffmann and Heidrich's individual work. Photos of individual designs are often stamped as such, i.e. "Design by Stephen Heidrich of Hoffmann and Heidrich." In addition, both Hoffmann and Heidrich created visual art, and photographs of Heidrich's sculptures and Hoffman's paintings are included here.

The collection was salvaged from the home of Kim Hoffmann after his death, and the photographs, negatives, transparencies, and clippings that were found were foldered by subject. The original folder titles have been maintained; in many cases they remain the only information available about the collected images. In cases where images were loose or clearly mislabeled, they were correctly refiled. However, there are still many images, mainly filed in "miscellaneous" folders, which remain unidentified. It is also unclear how much of the firm's work is documented by these records. Dates for many of the commissions were taken from the Hoffmann and Heidrich office addresses stamped on the verso of the photos.

Many of these photos were taken for publicity or for publication. Others were taken by Hoffmann or Heidrich themselves (especially their travel photography). Photos throughout the collection were taken by the following photographers: John Brefach, Ben Schnall, Clifford G. Scofield, Richard Averill Smith, William Stelling, and James Vincent. Particularly in Series III, product photographs were often samples distributed by their manufacturers.

Arrangement

The collection is diveded into five series:

  1. Series I. Commissions
  2. Series II. Installations and Trade Shows
  3. Series III. Product Files
  4. Series IV. Publicity and Correspondence
  5. Series V. Personal Photographs