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NAVY ART COLLECTION
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Irwin Hoffman (1901-1989)

Irwin Hoffman was born in 1901 in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended the Museum School of Fine Arts in that city, and in 1924 he received the Paige Traveling Fellowship which enabled him to continue his studies throughout Europe.

In 1930 he traveled to Russia and created works depicting Russian peasants and the hardships they endured. In 1933 he went to Mexico, where his work received critical acclaim. Later in the decade, partly due to the fact that his two brothers were mining engineers, he turned to documenting miners. Among his many works, he produced a mural showing the history of mining. He exhibited it at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco, and it now resides at the Colorado School of Mines.

In 1943 Irwin Hoffman became an Artist-Correspondent for Abbott Laboratories. In this capacity he documented training for Navy medical corpsmen as they prepared for action in the South Pacific and Europe.

Irwin Hoffman died in 1989.

 


Portrait of a Marine
Irwin Hoffman #5
circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GA

 

 

 

First Aid to the Fallen
Irwin Hoffman #2
Oil on canvas, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-FX

Accompanying the first wave of troops to the beach, Navy hospital corpsmen in training at Camp Lejeune "inject" morphine and affix a tag to one of the "casualties" of the landing operations.

 

This Way to Recovery
Irwin Hoffman #8
Pastel, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GD

While his comrades keep up a steady fire to discourage enemy marksmen, a Navy hospital corpsman drags a "casualty" to comparative safety in a foxhole. This is one of the grimly realistic portraits drawn at Camp Lejeune where Navy corpsmen are in training.

 

Seek and Treat
Irwin Hoffman #9
Pastel, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GE

A Navy hospital corpsman during training searches for the location of the wound suffered by a "casualty." After finding it he must apply first aid just as he will do at the front.

 

Battlefield Samaritans
Irwin Hoffman #12
Oil on canvas, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GH

While one Navy hospital corpsman bandages the wounded arm of a "casualty" another holds a lighted cigarette to his mouth during maneuvers at Camp Lejeune.

 

Combat Convalescence
Irwin Hoffman #4
Pastel, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-FZ

The processes of healing begin right on the field of battle in this war, often on the very spot where Death struck and missed. Navy hospital corpsmen in training apply an arm traction splint to a "casualty" during maneuvers.

 

Back from the Front
Irwin Hoffman #7
Pastel, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GC

Navy hospital corpsman in training rehearse moving a "casualty" back from the front lines to a first aid station an activity they will soon duplicate under fire at the front.

 

The Wounded Don't Walk
Irwin Hoffman #6
Pastel, circa 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-GB

 

Unless their wounds are very slight in which case they continue to fight wounded Marines are borne back from the front. They travel by stretcher, where possible, or over a Navy corpsman's back. This corpsman in training practices a task which may soon be his in grim earnest.

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Online Exhibits that feature Irwin Hoffman's work
Navy Medical Art of the Abbott Collection

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22 June 2000