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Johannes Hoving papers


Held at: American Swedish Historical Museum [Contact Us]1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19145

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the American Swedish Historical Museum. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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Johannes Walter Wilhelm Hoving (1868-1954) was born in Finland. He studied medicine in Berlin and Stockholm and became a physician in 1898. He married Helga (nee Adamsen), an opera singer born in Copenhagen and raised in Stockholm. The couple lived in Finland for a time, but emigrated to the United States in 1903 due to Hoving's opposition to the Russification of Finland. The Hovings settled in New York, where Johannes maintained a medical practice and the couple remained until 1934.

Johannes Hoving's love of all things Swedish led to his involvement in many Swedish-American organizations, including the Vasa Order, the newspaper Nordstjernan, the Jenny Lind Association, and the St. Erik Club for Swedish Art and Writing in America. Helga Hoving established a children's group within the Vasa Order, and the Hovings organized and escorted groups of Swedish-American children to Sweden in 1924, 1929, and 1933. Johannes Hoving emphasized the importance maintaining the Swedish language in emigrant communities in the United States, especially among the second generation.

The Hovings returned to Sweden in 1934, where Johannes focused on genealogical research and writing his memoirs while the couple lived out their days. One of their sons, Walter Hoving, became a leading businessman and socialite after rescuing Tiffany & Company jewelry from the brink of bankruptcy.


Barton, H. Arnold. "The Last Chieftains: Johannes and Helga Hoving." Swedish-American Historical Quarterly XLVII:1 (January 1997)

The Johannes Hoving papers, 1917-1936, consist primarily of correspondence, with clippings, photographs, receipts, tickets, and other ephemera. The bulk relate to Hoving's involvement with the Vasa Order of America, the St. Erik Club for Swedish Art and Writing in America, and other Swedish-American social and cultural groups. He corresponded with regional lodges of the Vasa Order; planned events for the children's group (Vasabarnen) and helped organize trips for Sweden; helped plan Swedish poetry and art exhibitions by the St. Erik Club; planned "Sweden Days" and Luciafest (Christmas) events for various groups; and was involved with the Jenny Lind Association, celebrations of Jenny Lind's anniversary, and planning a Jenny Lind statue.

Gift, circa 1930-1940.

American Swedish Historical Museum
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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