In 1930, artist Malvina Hoffman was commissioned to sculpt and cast bronze figures depicting the peoples of the world. "The Races of Mankind" is the largest single commission of her work and consists of 104 busts, heads, and life-sized figures. In preparation for the exhibit, Hoffman and her husband, S. B. Grimson, traveled throughout the world to find authentic models for the sculptures. The resulting photographs from the trip appear in her two autobiographies, as well as in several publications about Hoffman. The original negatives (over 2,000) represent one of the most complete photographic records of her travels.