Special Collections & Archives Blog

Gertrude Hoffman Theater Posters – the totality

Thursday, November 4, 2010 2:21 pm

Gertrude Hoffman Poster

I have gone through every folded poster in the Hoffman collection. There are numerous duplicates, but many really nice surprises. The majority of the posters were from engagements in France by “The Hoffman Girls.” Almost none of the posters have a year (with the exception of one 1911 and one 1934).

Gertrude Hoffman Poster

These posters range in size from 20″ x 24″ to 6′ x 9′.
Gertrude Hoffman Poster

A newly unfolded poster found today is 42″ x 6′ and features Vaudeville performers that will seem racially insensitive today. This poster is of a production by Gertrude’s husband, Max Hoffman.

Max Hoffman Poster

Some posters are simple, and contain the facts with no embellishments:
Gertrude Hoffman Poster

Gertrude Hoffman Poster

There is even a French “Red Cross” or Rouge Croix poster:
Gertrude Hoffman Poster

They are a wonderful group of posters. I’ve divided them into groups and will probably select the best one from each stack of duplicates to preserve. the rest can be stored in archival boxes.
Gertrude Hoffman Poster


  1. WOW! These are beautiful! Great job Craig.

  2. Incredible! Thanks for illustrating some of the highlights of our collection!

  3. Next step is to bring some research to bear in creating good metadata for the posters.

    Craig, what are your preservation/stabilization plans for these fragile objects?

  4. For research_ i’ve brought Kaeley McMahan into the discussion and she’s talked to a Dance Faculty member-that is a good start. Anyone interested in Vaudeville, dance history, etc might also find these useful.

    For preservation: I’ve talked to Brenda Parsons at Etherington Conservation Center about this. As a result, I’ve ordered Japanese paper to use as backing. My plan is to humidify and flatten each poster (the best copy if there are duplicates). The large posters will be backed and possibly rolled or placed into an archival box (if I can find one large enough). The smaller posters will be backed and encapsulated. All duplicates will be boxed.

  5. How incredible to see such “Hoffman” memorabilia!
    My mother was a member of the troup “til 1939 when Gertrude & Max Hoffman brought the members
    safely back to USA as WWII escalated. My brother met the Hoffmans in NYC in 1956 after our father died. They were living in the Great Northern Hotel
    and our mother drove them out to Jones Beach for some sun & sea. We have our mother’s scrapbooks &
    publicity photos. The gorgeous & multi-talented mom was Manya Wyshinska!

  6. This is wonderful information. It would be great to know more about your Mom and what she did as one of the Hoffman Girls.Our library holds this material and only know about the Hoffmans from our research as we try to understand this collection. Any information you would be willing to share with us would be welcome. Thanks for your response to our blog post.

    Craig Fansler
    Preservation Librarian
    ZSR Library
    Wake Forest University

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