Biographical letter - W. Kenneth Hoff

Provided in support of 1948 exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery

This information was provided courtesy of the Vancouver Art Gallery Library.

1906 River Dr.
New Westminster B.C.
Aug. 7, 1948

Dear Sir,

     Today I received a letter from my artist friend Mr. Kenneth Hoff. He is residing at Rosedale, B.C. and has an exhibition coming up in your gallery Aug. 17-22. He asks that I give you a short biographical note as he feels that he would rather not write of himself. I hope you will not mind. I have known Ken for a good many years and any time he spent in Vancouver - a good deal of it was with yours truly.
     Kenneth Hoff is 26 years of age. He was born in Alberta on a farm in the southern part. There he was raised and schooled by struggling parents until shortly before the 2nd war. At that time he came to the west coast and managed to find a job after almost starving walking the streets in search of employment. He drew and painted from childhood and when war broke out he worked as a machinist for Dominion Bridge in Vanc. and painted in his spare time.
     Previous to his machinist work Ken joined the Permanent Army - was discharged when his father became ill - drafted a little later when his machinist work was just becoming routine. With his discharge in hand Ken attended the V.S.A. on rehabilitation for 2 years. He and his wife Amy then travelled to Mexico City where he painted and studied the murals of Oroyco (sic) and Rivera and executed some lithographs in the same shop that Sigueros and Orozco worked.
     From Mexico he travelled to Toronto where he painted for a year. From Toronto Ken and his wife came to the west coast once more. From here they hope to travel east to Montreal.
     Where painting is concerned Ken is one of the most sincere and conscientious people I know. He is not eager to jump on the bandwagon of modern art. He is willing to sweat it out.
     As you can see I am no writer but the facts are there and if I can be of further use to you I shall be pleased to be so at any time. Phone N.W. 1361Y after 6:30 p.m. or Tatlow 2421 during day. At latter number tell them I am in stock-room or bindery. I don't imagine you will need a great deal more.
     Thank and I am,
     Sincerely yours,

         J.D. Johnston

p.s. if necessary I can drop in at Gallery between 12 and 12:20 noon.