• IdentificationPUBLIC "-//The Art Institute of Chicago::Ryerson and Burnham Archives//TEXT(US::ICA::2008.1::DONALD HOFFMANN (1933-) COLLECTION, 1897-2008 (BULK 1963-2000)//EN)" "ica200801.xml"
  • TitleHoffmann, Donald (1933-) Collection, 1897-2008 (bulk 1963-2000)
  • PublisherRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago,
  • Language
    • English
    • English.
  • Date
    • 1897-2008
    • (bulk 1963-2000)
  • Physical Description
    • 18 linear feet(41 boxes) and 2 oversize portfolios
    • Correspondence, holograph papers, typescript papers, maps, printed materials, architectural reprographic prints, and black and white photographs and negatives.
  • RepositoryRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago 111 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60603-6110 (312) 443-7292 rbarchives@artic.edu http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchives.html
  • AbstractDonald Hoffmann worked as Art and Architecture Critic at the Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri) from 1965 to 1990 and published ten books and numerous articles on the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, John Wellborn Root, Louis Sullivan, and others. Hoffmann's publications include books devoted to Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, Robie House, Hollyhock House, Dana House, and Hagan House (located on Kentuck Knob). His other books on architecture are titled The Meanings of Architecture: Buildings And Writings by John Wellborn Root, The Architecture Of John Wellborn Root, Frank Lloyd Wright, Architecture And Nature, Understanding Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture, and Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, And The Skyscraper. The collection includes the research files for Hoffmann's books, articles, and lectures, as well as general research files on the architects about whom he published and other individuals, including Richard Nickel and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Hoffmann's research files primarily consist of printed materials, correspondence with other architectural historians and people with first-hand knowledge of the buildings and architects on which Hoffmann published, original photographs, and materials copied from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives and other institutions.
  • OriginationHoffmann, Donald
  • LocationThe collection is housed in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' on-site stacks.

Donald Hoffmann was born on June 24, 1933 in Springfield, Illinois to George C. Hoffmann and Ines Hoffmann (neé Catron). He attended Springfield High School from 1947 to 1949 and the University of Chicago from 1949 to 1953. He also attended the University of Kansas City in 1958. On April 12, 1958, Hoffmann married Theresa McGrath, with whom he had five children named George, Alan, Eric, Michael, and Valerie.

Hoffmann began his career as an office boy at the City News Bureau of Chicago in 1954. Later that year, he became a reporter for the Illinois State Register. He began working for the Kansas City Star in 1956 as a general assignment reporter, later becoming the newspaper's Art and Architecture Critic in 1965. He remained in this position until 1990. Hoffmann served on the board of directors for the Society of Architectural Historians from 1968 to 1970 and served as assistant editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians from 1970 to 1972.

Hoffmann wrote extensively on the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, and he also published on the work of John Wellborn Root, Louis Sullivan, and others. His books include The Meanings of Architecture: Buildings And Writings by John Wellborn Root (1967), The Architecture Of John Wellborn Root (1973, republished 1988), Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: The House And Its History (first edition 1978, second edition 1993), Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House: The Illustrated Story Of An Architectural Masterpiece (1984), Frank Lloyd Wright, Architecture And Nature (1986), Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House (1992), Understanding Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture (1995), Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana House (1996), Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, And The Skyscraper (1998), and Frank Lloyd Wright's House On Kentuck Knob (2000). He has also written a book unrelated to architecture titled Mark Twain in Paradise: His Voyages to Bermuda (2006).

In addition to his books, Hoffmann published numerous articles on architecture in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Kansas City Star, and other publications. He also reviewed books on architectural history in journals like Architectural Forum, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and others. Throughout his career, Hoffmann gave lectures at numerous colleges, universities, and museums, including the University of Chicago, Yale University, the University of Michigan, the Art Institute of Chicago, and many others. He has also spoken at annual conventions of the Society of Architectural Historians and other events.

In recognition of his work, Hoffmann has received grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts. As of 2011, he lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

This collection primarily consists of Donald Hoffmann's research files for his numerous books, articles, and lectures and copies of some of his articles, reviews, and lectures. The collection also documents his work for the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and other miscellaneous projects. Materials in "Series III: Books" include project, illustration, research, and article files. The project files contain materials related to the writing and publication of Hoffmann's books, including correspondence from publishers and readers. The illustration files contain images used to illustrate Hoffmann's books and, if present, include original photographs by Hoffmann. The research files primarily consist of printed materials on architects and buildings (including both articles and printed ephemera such as brochures and leaflets), correspondence with other architectural historians and people with first-hand knowledge of the architects and buildings on which Hoffmann published, and materials copied from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives and other institutions. All these materials in the research files are grouped by subject or source. The article files include articles and photocopied portions of books not grouped with other materials.

SERIES I: GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE. Arranged into the following subseries: Besinger, Curtis; Eaton, Leonard; Jacobs, Herbert; Mark, Robert; Miller, William L.; and Miscellaneous Correspondence.

SERIES II: GENERAL RESEARCH AND SUBJECT FILES. Arranged into the following subseries: Nickel, Richard; Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig; Root, John Wellborn; Wright, Frank Lloyd.

SERIES III: BOOKS BY HOFFMANN. Organized into subseries by book. Subseries are arranged by the book's original date of publication, as follows: The Meanings of Architecture: Buildings and Writings by John Wellborn Root, 1967; The Architecture of John Wellborn Root, 1973; Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: The House and Its History, 1978; Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture and Nature, 1986; Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House, 1992; Understanding Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture, 1995; Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana House, 1996; Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and the Skyscraper, 1998; Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob, 2000; Miscellaneous Materials Pertaining to Hoffmann's Books.

SERIES IV: ARTICLES BY HOFFMANN. Organized into subseries by article. Articles are arranged by the publication date of the article.

SERIES V: REVIEWS BY HOFFMANN. Organized into subseries by review. Subseries are arranged by the publication date of the review.

SERIES VI: LECTURES AND PANEL DISCUSSIONS BY HOFFMANN. Organized into subseries by lecture. Subseries are arranged by the date the lecture was given.

SERIES VII: MISCELLANEOUS PROJECTS. Organized into the following subseries: Society of Architectural Historians and JSAH, 1967-1976; American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-Aid Application, 1968; Testimony in Support of Monadnock Building's Designation as a Chicago Landmark, 04/30/1970; Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Fallingwater Visitors Center Exhibit Development, 1973; Reading of Manuscript for the Architectural History Foundation, 1978; Donation of Items to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation, 1993; Offer of the "Wright Spirit" award to Hoffmann by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, 2000.

SERIES VIII: NEGATIVES. Organized into the following subseries: General Research and Subject Files; The Architecture of John Wellborn Root, 1973; Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: The House and Its History, 1978; Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House, 1992; Understanding Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture, 1995; Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana House, 1996; Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and the Skyscraper, 1998; Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob, 2000; Articles.

  • Subject
    • Architecture--19th century--Sources
    • Architecture--20th century--Sources
    • Hoffmann, Donald--Archives
    • Hoffmann, Donald--Correspondence
  • Names
    • Hoffmann, Donald
    • Nickel, Richard, d. 1972
    • Root, John Wellborn, 1850-1891
    • Sullivan, Louis H., 1856-1924
    • Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959

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The Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at The Art Institute of Chicago hold copies of all of Hoffmann's books on architecture: The Meanings of Architecture: Buildings And Writings by John Wellborn Root (1967), The Architecture Of John Wellborn Root (1973, republished 1988), Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: The House And Its History (first edition 1978, second edition 1993), Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House: The Illustrated Story Of An Architectural Masterpiece (1984), Frank Lloyd Wright, Architecture And Nature (1986), Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House (1992), Understanding Frank Lloyd Wright's Architecture (1995), Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana House (1996), Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, And The Skyscraper (1998), and Frank Lloyd Wright's House On Kentuck Knob (2000).

Portions of this collection are restricted; wherever possible, surrogate copies are provided for patron use, as noted in the series listings. The remainder of collection may be used by qualified readers in the Reading Room of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at The Art Institute of Chicago. Collections maintained on-site are available for patron use without prior arrangement or appointment. Collections maintained in off-site storage will be retrieved with advance notification; please consult the Archivist for the current retrieval schedule. For further information, patrons are requested to consult http://www.artic.edu/aic/access/access.html

The Art Institute of Chicago is providing access to the materials in the Libraries' collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of the Art Institute is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Archivist, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to permission from the Art Institute, permission of the copyright owner (if not the Art Institute) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distribution, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. The Art Institute makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Donald Hoffmann (1933-) Collection (1897-2008), Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

This collection was donated by Donald Hoffmann on May 16, 2008.

This collection was processed by Valerie Higgins in February and March 2011.