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Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and Carriage House, a New York historic estate located in the Bronx
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Mrs. Charles Frederick Hoffman, ca. 1930

Sydney Percy Kendrick (British, 1874–1955)
Oil on canvas
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, Gift of Mrs. Aymar Johnson, 1978
1978.02

The portrait of Mrs. Charles Frederick Hoffman (née Zelia Krumbhaar Preston, 1867–1929) by the British artist Sydney Percy Kendrick (1874–1955) projects the calm intelligence, sophistication, and vision that befit the sitter. Prominent in New York, Newport, and English society, Zelia Hoffman left a legacy that includes the International Garden Club and the preservation of the Bartow Mansion. Enthusiastic about the exchange of American and European horticulture, in 1914 she was a founder of the International Garden Club, and president from 1914 to 1921. Under her leadership, the club leased the Bartow Mansion from New York City for use as its headquarters and began the restoration of the house and gardens. She was also a founder and president of the Newport Garden Club, and her gardens at Newport and at Norfolk, England, were famous.

The portrait was painted posthumously from a photograph in Kendrick's London studio. A figure, genre, and landscape painter active during the early modern period, Kendrick was also a painter of fashionable portraits. Born in London, he studied art in Paris and exhibited at the Royal Academy and in the provinces. The painting, with its simple dark background and sense of formality, is a perfect foil for Zelia Hoffman and is characteristic of the artist's grand manner portraiture.

Mrs. Charles Frederick Hoffman (1867-1929)