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Beatrice Pope Hoffman
(February 5, 1885–May 1, 1957)
In Lyme: 1936 -
Beatrice Pope was born in East Orange, New Jersey on February 5, 1885. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Pope. During the summer of 1906, Mrs. pope sent young Beatrice to spend the summer with Miss Florence. She wanted her daughter to recuperate from a busy social calendar of too many dinners and dances. Her older sister, Francis had visited Old Lyme with an art class the previous summer.
Beatrice met Harry Hoffman and the two fell in love, announcing their engagement after only a few weeks. In November of 1907, Mrs. Pope arrived in Old Lyme and purchased 20 acres off Sill Lane for the couple to build a house. On April 5, 1910, Beatrice married Harry Hoffman.
During the 1920s, Beatrice embraced the Arts and Crafts movement. She was deeply involved in learning such early American craft processes as natural hand-dying and tole painting. In addition to her earlier interest in photography, her creative energies were focused on the tapestries and tiles she produced in collaboration with her husband, and in the dresses she designed and made for herself. Using her own hand-dyed wool, Beatrice produced a series of tapestries based on her husband's undersea designs. These tapestries were shown in 1935 at the Dayton Art Institute and Milwaukee Art Institue, in conjunction with Harry Hoffman's undersea paintings.
Early in the 1930s Beatrice founded the Old Lyme Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. The Guild used the Peck Tavern, owned by Beatrice's sister, to display ahdn-crafted furniture, paintings, ceramics, ironwork, metalware, and other decorative objects made by their members.
By 1936, Beatrice and Harry Hoffman were year-round residents of Old Lyme.