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George Rayner Hoff (27 November 1894 – 19 November 1937) was a British-born sculptor who mainly worked in Australia.
He fought in World War I and is chiefly known for his war memorial work, particularly the sculptures on the ANZAC War Memorial in Sydney.
Early life and training
Hoff was born on the Isle of Man, the son of a stone and wood carver of Dutch descent. He began helping his father on architectural commissions at a very young age and briefly attended the Nottingham School of Art where he studied drawing, design, and modelling, from 1910 to 1915. During World War I he was in the British Army and fought in the trenches in France, an experience from which he was to draw most passionately in the creation of his various war memorials. Later in the war he made maps based on aerial photographs.
Returning from the trenches following the War he enrolled in the Royal College of Art in London studying under Francis Derwent Wood for three years. In 1922, Hoff won the British Prix de Rome which allowed him the opportunity to study in Rome. There he did little work in sculpture beyond making sketch models, but drew much and mentally studied the many examples of classical and Renaissance art to be found in that country. In May 1923, on the recommendation of Sir George Frampton, R.A., and F. Derwent Wood, R.A., he became director of sculpture and drawing at the East Sydney Technical College (Australia) and set up his private studio. In 1933, he was named the head of the ESTC Art School.