Signed, dated, and inscribed in pencil lower right: “Arnold. 1943 / Barega Desert Cal / Irwin D. Hoffman”. In fine condition.
Hoffman produced this portrait while visiting the calcite mining operation run by his brothers, Arnold and Robert, in the Borrego Desert. Calcite was a strategic mineral used in gunsights during World War II; the sights were used on anti-aircraft guns, bazookas, and flexible gunnery on scout planes.
“My brother Arnold was Harvard Class of ’25. He and Robert together prospected and promoted mines in Canada. His book “Free Gold” which I illustrated has become a classic history of Canadian mining. He later became President of Mesabi Iron Co.” (commentary by Irwin D. Hoffman in “Irwin D. Hoffman: An Artist’s Life,” Boston Public Library 1982.)