Barasch was born to Menachem and Gusta Barasch and grew up in Czernowitz, Romania, once an important center of Jewish culture. His father was a Zionist who introduced his son to the tradition of Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment. The young Barasch showed himself to have substantial art talent. By age 13, he had already exhibited his drawings and paintings in Czernowitz, Prague, Budapest and Boston, which he visited. He wrote daily in his notebooks, one of which was a diary.
Private scholar; editorial Secretary and Assistant Editor of the The Burlington Magazine, 1938-1950. Hoffmann was the daughter of the writer and Czech diplomat Camill (or Kamil) Hoffmann (1878-144) and his wife, Irma Oplatka (Hoffmann) (1883-1944). Irma’s father was an art writer and a friend of the Austrian Expressionist artist Oskar Kokoschka.
Architectural historian, Pevsner colleague, wrote disseration under Strzygowski (q.v.).