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Sculpture of Philip Seymour Hoffman donated to George Eastman Museum

Dryden Theatre planning yearlong film series as tribute to actor

ROCHESTER, N.Y., February 7, 2023— The legacy of actor/director/producer Philip Seymour Hoffman will continue to be celebrated at the George Eastman Museum. A life-size bronze sculpture of the actor, created by David A. Annand, has been donated to the museum. Erected on the sidewalk in front of the museum’s Dryden Theatre in May 2022, the sculpture was initially on loan.

The sculpture will greet moviegoers to the Dryden Theatre during the yearlong film series “A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman.” The actor appeared in more than 50 films and received the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Capote (Bennett Miller, 2005) and three other Academy Award nominations.  He also was nominated for Tony and Emmy awards for stage and television roles.

Since its unveiling, the sculpture has been popular with museum visitors, who enjoy posing for photos with the statue.

“Our board of trustees, staff, and members are thrilled that this wonderful sculpture of Philip Seymour Hoffman has been placed at our Dryden Theatre,” said Bruce Barnes,
Ron and Donna Fielding Director of the George Eastman Museum. “Since the museum was founded, one of our key missions has been to preserve and exhibit motion pictures, and this statue enables us to recognize Hoffman’s extraordinary contribution to the art of cinema.”

Hoffman was born and raised in nearby Fairport, New York. His mother, retired judge Marilyn O’Connor, called the sculpture “a loving memorial” to her son who passed away in 2014, at the age of 46.

“The Eastman Museum’s decision to retain the sculpture makes me very happy,” said O’Connor, who frequents the Dryden Theatre and chose it as the venue for Hoffman’s local memorial service. “There was an enthusiastic response to having this beautiful statue of Phil at the museum. This is what the Rochester community wanted.”

The statue, which depicts Hoffman in motion, walking toward the theatre’s steps, was commissioned by philanthropist and film producer James Declan Tobin of Boston.

“The greatest actor of my generation has come home to the community that loves him,” Tobin said. “This is where Phil belongs. I wanted a home that is worthy of Phil, and we have it at the Dryden Theatre, which is a classic temple of film. He is on the move, a script in his bag, walking toward the theater he so loved.”

Tobin was inspired to commission the sculpture after meeting and befriending O’Connor at the Sundance Film Festival.

“There was a lot of silence after Phil died,” Tobin said. “He was with us, so brilliant, so powerfully present, and then he slipped away. I wanted to keep the light going. I wanted Phil’s family to know the impact he had on me and the world.”

Upon seeing a sculpture in Ireland of blues guitarist Rory Gallagher, Tobin knew he had found the artistic form for a tribute, as well as the artist. He commissioned a statue of Hoffman by the same sculptor, David A. Annand, an award-winning Scottish artist who is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. Annand worked from photographs to capture the likeness. Hoffman’s family, along with Tobin and Annand, looked at more than 500 photographs to guide the sculpture’s appearance and encompass the desired emotion. Annand said he “tried to capture the subtle way he [Hoffman] smiled with his eyes rather than his mouth, looking for vitality, intelligence, talent, and that twinkle in the eye.”

The funding for the commission and installation of the sculpture was provided by James Declan Tobin on behalf of the Sumner Roy Kates Charitable Trust, which is generously supporting the Philip Seymour Hoffman film series and related events. The trust also established a scholarship in Hoffman’s name at the actor’s alma mater, New York University (NYU), for two students attending its Tisch School of the Arts. Tobin serves as president of the trust, which was established by his father.

The outdoor sculpture of Philip Seymour Hoffman is freely accessible from the museum’s parking lot at 900 East Avenue in Rochester.

 

The Film Series

“A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman” is being curated by Jared Case, the museum’s curator of film exhibitions. The yearlong series at the Dryden Theatre is chronologically following Hoffman’s filmography, with an average of two screenings per month. The February screenings are below. Screenings begin at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $11 ($7 for members; $5 students with ID; and $5 ages 17 and under).

Friday, February 17               STATE AND MAIN (David Mamet, 2000) –

Introduced by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s sister, Emily Barr

Saturday, March 11                FLAWLESS (Joel Schumacher, 1999)

Friday, March 25                     MAGNOLIA (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999)

Saturday, April 8                     HAPPINESS (Todd Solondz, 1998)

Saturday, April 22                  ALMOST FAMOUS (Cameron Crowe, 2000)

Additional screenings and dates will be announced.

 

Media Contacts:

Dresden Engle, Dresden Public Relations  

[email protected]  

(585) 319-1812 (cell)


Nate Smith, George Eastman Museum

[email protected]