banact.gif (5205 bytes)

SCULPTURES by Malvina Hoffman

Services & Classes stop.gif (845 bytes) Calendar stop.gif (845 bytes) Spiritual Leader
stop.gif (845 bytes) Ramakrishna Order  stop.gif (845 bytes) Pictorial Album stop.gif (845 bytes) Sculptures


The Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York is home to several sculptures of the renowned American artist, Malvina Hoffman. An alabaster bust of Sri Ramakrishna is the central figure on the altar of the Center’s chapel. Bronze sculptures of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda are also to be found in the chapel of the Center. It is interesting to note that as a young girl the artist had the rare opportunity of seeing Swami Vivekananda when she was taken by her mother to see the great spiritual personality from India who was then living and teaching in New York City. Below are photographs of the statues along with Malvina Hoffman’s own words about these works from her autobiographies.

Malvina Hoffman

"India brought back one of my vivid memories of childhood, an exciting evening spent with a relative of my father's who lived in a modest boarding-house in West Thirty-eighth Street. In the midst of this group of old-fashioned city boarders was introduced suddenly a newcomer -- the oriental philosopher and teacher, Swami Vivekananda. When he entered the dining-room there was a hush. His dark, bronzed countenance and hands were in sharp contrast to the voluminous, light folds of his turban and robes. His dark eyes hardly glanced up to notice his neighbors, but there was a sense of tranquillity and power about him that made an imperishable impression upon me. He seemed to personify the mystery and religious ‘aloofness’ of all true teachers of Brahma, and combined with this a kindly and gentle attitude of simplicity towards his fellow men.


It was many years later, in 1931, that we visited outside of Calcutta, at Belur, the marble temple which was dedicated to this same man by thousands of his devoted followers. When I offered the garland of jasmine to be laid on the altar, I recalled, with emotion, that the only time I had seen this holy man, he had revealed to me more of the true spirit of India, without even uttering a word, than I had ever sensed in the many lectures on India, or by Indians, which I had attended since.
From "Heads and Tales" by Malvina Hoffman,(Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1936