Otto Schmidt-Hofer

Otto Schmidt-Hofer (1873–1925) was a German sculptor who worked during the late 19th century and early 20th century. His work was primarily Neoclassical and Art Nouveau between 1893-1914 and Art Deco from 1915 until his death in 1925.

Otto Schmidt-Hofer
Otto Schmidt-Hofer bronze (The Entertainer)
The Entertainer, an art deco bronze sculpture by Otto Schmidt-Hofer, c. 1920
Born Otto Schmidt-Hofer
Berlin, German Empire
Died 1925 (aged 51-52)
Berlin, Weimar Republic
Nationality German
Known for Sculpture
Notable work The Entertainer
Movement Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Art Deco

Early life and education

Schmidt-Hofer was born in Berlin, German Empire, in 1873.[1] He studied at the Royal School of Art and also in the educational department at the Berlin Museum of Decorative Arts, founded as the Deutsches Gewerbe-Museum zu Berlin in 1868.[2][3]


Otto Schmidt-Hofer signature example
A signature example for German sculptor Otto Schmidt-Hofer from circa 1920

He specialized in genre sculpture featuring working people doing normal everyday tasks and activities. He produced a number of sculptures of blacksmiths and masons at work, women harvesting fields with scythes, and athletes.

A number of the pieces he cast were of figures in the nude[4] which was popular during the era he worked in. Schmidt-Hofer was a member of the National Association of Artists in Germany. He produced several Neoclassical statues in patinated bronze and held membership in the Reichsverband bildender Künstler in Germany.[2]

Very versatile, Schmidt-Hofer was able to transition from works produced in the Art Nouveau era and pivot to doing a number of Art Deco sculptures during the latter portion of his career between 1915 and 1925.[5]

One sculpture, among his large career output of Art Deco sculptures, was The Entertainer. The statue, cast in four variations – one being chryselephantine and the other being all bronze (and also clothed and nude) – was among the best of the work he produced. The Entertainer features a beautiful, svelte young lady wearing a jewel-laden costume in the midst of a stage performance. Schmidt-Hofer also produced a small version of the statue (about 6 inches high) that was mounted on a Brazilian green onyx pin dish.[6] The full array of Schmidt-Hofer's plentiful sculpting skills are displayed in this artwork which he completed c. 1920.

Death and legacy

Schmidt-Hofer died in Berlin, Weimar Republic, in 1925.[1] Along with other German sculptors of the period such as Iffland, Preiss, and Schmidt-Felling, Schmidt-Hofer takes his rightful place as one of the premier Neoclassical, Art Deco, and Art Nouveau sculptors that Germany has ever produced.


  1. ^ a b "Biography: Otto Schmidt-Hofer".
  2. ^ a b "Otto Schmidt-Hofer".
  3. ^ Heute mal Extremitäten Tobias Timm, Die Zeit, 31 August 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2016. (in German)
  4. ^ "'Eve' An Otto Schmidt-Hofer (1873-1925) Patinated and Cold-Painted Bronze Group (1914), Sale 8893, Lot 273". Christie' Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  5. ^ Berman, Harold (1974). Bronzes, Sculptors & Founders (Vol. 4 ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Abage Publishers. p. 1215.
  6. ^ "Lot 419, Kunst & Antiquitäten, Berlin, Saturday, July 05, 2008, Schmidt-Hofer, Otto, 1873-1925 (Germany)".

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