Cartoon by Gerard Hoffnung
Cartoon by Gerard Hoffnung. 

Gerard Hoffnung was a German-born British cartoonist and musician. He was born in 1925 in Berlin as Gerhard Hoffnung into a Jewish family. His family sent him to England to escape the Nazi regime in 1938. He was joined by his mother in the following year, while his father went to Palestine. Hoffnung and his mother settled in the Hampstead Garden suburb of London, where he would live for the rest of his life. While at Highgate School, he published his first cartoons, inspired by the work of German cartoonist Walter Trier. His first cartoon was published in the small-format British humor monthly Lilliput.

Hoffnung attended the Hornsey College of Art and the Harrow School of Art, and became a schoolmaster after his studies. He additionally had stints as a staff artist with the London Evening News and Cowles Magazines Inc from New York. He turned freelance in the 1950s, and contributed to such publications as Punch, The Strand Magazine and The Tatler. He also made drawings for advertisements by Kia-Ora fruit drinks and Guinness stout.

Hoffnung cartoon bookHoffnung cartoon book
Hoffnung cartoon books from 1956 and 1957. 

Music was a recurring theme in Hoffnung's cartoons, and that is no surprise, since the artist was a musician as well. His Hoffnung Music Festivals were held in Royal Festival Hall in London in 1956 and 1958 (and posthumous in 1961), and contained humorous concerts which spoofed classical music. Besides Hoffnung playing the tuba, other affiliated musicians and composers were Donald Swann, William Walton, Franz Reizenstein and Malcolm Arnold. Hoffnung was also a gifted speaker with a dry wit. He held humorous speeches at the Oxford Union (1958) ans was a raconteur and regular contestant in panel games like 'One Minute Please' on BBC Radio.

Gerard Hoffnung passed away in 1959 at the age of 34 from a cerebral haemorrhage. The artist and raconteur is far from forgotten. Posthumous exhibitions of his artwork were held on several occasions in Berlin, New York, and London. A memorial tribute, 'O Rare Hoffnung' was published in 1960 and a play about Hoffnung was broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 in 2009.

Artwork by Gerard Hoffnung
Cartoon by Gerard Hoffnung. 

Series and books by Gerard Hoffnung you can order today:


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