J. Adolf Hoeffler
1825 - 1898
Plaza de Armas La Habana, 1854
16 1/2 x 22 1/4 inches
Hoeffler was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1825. His father, Heinrich Hoeffler was a painter of some note who taught his son the profession. In 1848, December 7, to be precise, Adolf arrives in New Orleans and begins his career as an itinerant artist in America. From 1848 to 1851 he is known to have been traveling and painting up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, then, he moved to Belleville, Illinois, and to Saint Paul, the capital of Minnesota. From there, he went to Cincinnati, then to Pittsburg, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. In 1850, Hoeffler was again painting in Trenton and that same year he was submitting his artworks to the New York American Art Union.
In October and November of 1851, Hoeffler’s explorations took him to Cuba where he was active and productive with his graphite and brushes. The only known documented description of this trip is the article “Three Weeks in Cuba By an Artist”, attributed to Hoeffler himself and published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine for January of 1853. In recent years, Hoeffler’s Cuban paintings, drawings, and prints have begun to surface, mostly in German and Spanish collections and art galleries. The one known drawing at the National Museum in Havana is now part of a larger island oeuvre by the artist.