Louise D. Clement-Hoff, 93, of West Chester, a longtime artist and teacher at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, died Friday, Jan. 31, at Paoli Memorial Hospital.
Mrs. Clement-Hoff joined the art institution in 1954 and enjoyed an extraordinarily long career. Beloved by faculty and students, she was selected by Fleisher to receive the 2015 Founder’s Award in recognition of her lasting impact on the school.
At the same awards ceremony, she was given a citation from then-Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, by chief cultural officer Helen Hayes.
“It is difficult to imagine Fleisher without Louise's presence,” the school said in a message posted online. “She will be deeply missed and impossible to replace.”
Mrs. Clement-Hoff taught classes in painting, sculpture, and drawing. Her final assignment was teaching oil painting to the parents of students enrolled in Fleisher’s Saturday Young Artists Program. No matter the age of those in her classes, she treated each as a curious, serious artist.
“Every Saturday morning, Louise would make the long journey from her home and studio in West Chester to hold court in our fourth-floor studios,” the art institution said. She remained vigorous into old age and never retired.
While on the Fleisher faculty, she also taught at various times at the Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill and the Hussian College School of Art in Spring Garden.
She was an adjunct professor of art at West Chester University. In 1998, the university honored her with a retrospective exhibition at its McKinney Gallery covering 20 years of creative work.
An accomplished painter, her work was shown throughout the Delaware Valley and is in private collections in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and San Francisco. A more encompassing exhibition of her oil paintings, pastels, and drawings was staged at the Atlantic City Art Center in 2000.
She was known for her renderings of human figures and still-life objects.
“In my figurative work, my focus is on that which is encapsulated in the human spirit of woman, as well as man," she said in the 2003 book Speaking for Themselves: The Artists of Southeastern Pennsylvania, by Daphne Landis. "My search goes beyond ... the surface, to unearth and bring life a universal quality.”
“For me, still-life is nature rampantly alive with the dynamics of color, light and shade ... ,” she also said. “These elements intertwine, creating rhythms which affect our thoughts and heighten the feeling of aliveness.”
Born in Philadelphia to John George and Eva Adele Ulett, she graduated from William Penn High School. From the time she was in preschool, she knew she would become an artist.
“A friend of my dad’s came to our house and looked over my shoulder and said, ‘Louise, you’re an artist!’ she told family. "From then on, without a doubt, I knew who I was. I was, emphatically, an artist.”
Mrs. Clement-Hoff received a bachelor of fine arts degree from what is now the University of the Arts. She expanded her studies at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Barnes Foundation.
When not in her studio or classroom, she liked to write.
Her first husband was Walter Robert Clement, her second George Hoff. Both died earlier, as did a son, Robert Ulett Clement. She is survived by children Gina Louise Clement and Geri Georgette Clement, three grandsons, and nieces and nephews.
A viewing starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, will be followed by an 11 a.m. memorial service at Milestone Events, 600 E. Market St., West Chester. Burial is private.