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Charles Hopkinson papers, 1892-1993

Charles Hopkinson papers, 1892-1993

Hopkinson, Charles, 1869-1962

Painter, Portrait painter

Collection Information

Size: 1.4 linear feet

Summary: The papers of Massachusetts portrait painter and watercolorist Charles Hopkinson date from 1892 to 1993 and measure 1.4 linear feet. The papers are comprised primarily of 17 sketchbooks and loose sketches. Also found are printed materials and three photographs of Hopkinson, as well as writings about Hopkinson written by his daughter Joan Hopkinson Shurcliff and her husband William Shurcliff.

Biographical/Historical Note

Portrait and watercolor painter Charles Hopkinson (1869-1962) was active in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Provenance

The collection was donated in 1973 and 1992 by Charles Hopkinson's daughters and granddaughters, Joan Hopkinson Shurcliff, Harriot Rive, Elinor Barr, Mrs. John M. Clarke and Mrs. James Masek.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Location of Originals

  • Reels N68-106 & 515 (except photos): Originals returned to Mrs. William Shurcliff (Joan Hopkinson) after microfilming.
  • Reel 482: Originals returned to Mrs. Isabella Halsted after microfilming.
  • Reel 486: Originals returned to Harriot Rive after microfilming.
  • Reels 634-639: Originals returned to Isabella Halsted and Mrs. William Shurcliff after microfilming; six sketchbooks on reel 639 were subsequently donated.

A Finding Aid to the Charles Hopkinson Papers, 1892-1993, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.hopkchar
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jayna M. Josefson
Biographical/Historical note
Portrait and watercolor painter Charles Hopkinson (1869-1962) was active in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Charles Hopkinson was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Mary Watson and John Prentiss Hopkinson. He attended his father's school, Hopkinson School and later Harvard University. As a result of summers spent sailing and sketching boats in Northeast Harbor, Maine, he developed a love of art. After drawing cartoons for the
Harvard Lampoon
, Hopkinson decided to pursue a career as an artist. He studied at the Art Student's League and Académie Julian. Charles Hopkinson was noted for his oil portraits but showed his watercolors with the "Boston Five." He exhibited his works in Boston and New York City.
Hopkinson married fellow art student Angelica Rathbone in 1893. The pair divorced by 1899 while living in France. Afterwards, Hopkinson travelled to Roscoff, Brittany where he produced many watercolor and oil paintings. He returned to Massachusetts and married Elinor Curtis in 1903. Together, they had five daughters, Harriot (Mrs. Alfred Rive), Mary (Mrs. John Heysham Gibbon, Jr. later Mrs. Lovell Thompson), Isabella (Mrs. James Addison Halsted), Elinor (Mrs. James Henderson Barr), and Joan (Mrs. William Asahel Shurcliff).
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 4 series.
Series 1: Writings and Notes, 1987-1993 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 2: Printed Material, 1988-1991 (2 folders; Box 1)
Series 3: Photographs, 1938-1961 (1 folder; Box 1)
Series 4: Sketchbooks and Artwork, 1892-1957 (1.2 linear feet; Box 1-3)
Scope and Contents note
The papers of Massachusetts portrait painter and watercolorist Charles Hopkinson date from 1892 to 1993 and measure 1.4 linear feet. The papers are comprised primarily of 17 sketchbooks and loose sketches. Also found are printed materials and three photographs of Hopkinson, as well as writings about Hopkinson written by his daughter Joan Hopkinson Shurcliff and her husband William Shurcliff.
Provenance
The collection was donated in 1973 and 1992 by Charles Hopkinson's daughters and granddaughters, Joan Hopkinson Shurcliff, Harriot Rive, Elinor Barr, Mrs. John M. Clarke and Mrs. James Masek.
Separated Materials note
Biographical material, family correspondence, writings, business records, printed materials, and 96 sketchbooks were loaned for microfilming between 1969-1973 by Charles Hopkinson's daughters Joan Hopkinson Shurcliff, Isabella Halsted, Harriot Rive, and Elinor Barr. Six of the sketchbooks originally loaned for microfilming were included in later gifts. Loaned material is available on legacy 35mm microfilm reels N-68-106, 482, 486, 515, 634-639 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. The loaned materials are not further described in the container listing of the finding aid.
Location of Originals
  • Reels N68-106 & 515 (except photos): Originals returned to Mrs. William Shurcliff (Joan Hopkinson) after microfilming.
  • Reel 482: Originals returned to Mrs. Isabella Halsted after microfilming.
  • Reel 486: Originals returned to Harriot Rive after microfilming.
  • Reels 634-639: Originals returned to Isabella Halsted and Mrs. William Shurcliff after microfilming; six sketchbooks on reel 639 were subsequently donated.
Processing Information note
Portions of the Charles Hopkinson and Hopkinson family papers were arranged upon receipt and microfilmed onto reel 4782. Later, the collection was donated along with six additional sketchbooks in 1992. In 2013, Jayna Josefson processed the papers with funding provided by the Archives of American Art.

Additional Forms Available

Portions of the papers gifted to the Archives were also microfilmed on legacy microfilm reels 515 and 4782. The film is available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the order of the papers on microfilm does not match the order of the collection described in this finding aid due to reprocessing and the microfilm does not reflect the entirety of the collection.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Charles Hopkinson papers, 1892-1993. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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