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Peter Hopkins papers, 1823-2001, bulk 1935-1994

Peter Hopkins papers, 1823-2001, bulk 1935-1994

Hopkins, Peter, 1911-1999

Painter, Teacher

Collection Information

Size: 2.4 linear feet

Summary: The Peter Hopkins papers measure 2.4 linear feet and date from 1823-2001, with the bulk of materials dating from 1935-1994. Writings, letters and diaries make up most of the collection. Printed materials relate to exhibitions of Hopkins' artwork and theatrical performances of his wife, Gertrude Beach Hopkins. There also are writings by both Hopkins and his wife that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor. Of particular interest is a group of vintage family photographs and family papers dating from the 19th century, as well as diaries Hopkins kept while traveling and working in a mental hospital in inland China in the mid 1930s.

Biographical/Historical Note

Peter Hopkins (1911-1999) was a painter and educator in New York, N.Y.

Provenance

The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2009 by the artist's neighbor, James McGuane.

A Finding Aid to the Peter Hopkins Papers,
1823-2001,
bulk 1935-1994
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.hopkpete
Finding aid prepared by Harriet E. Shapiro
Scope and Content Note
The Peter Hopkins papers measure 2.4 linear feet and date from 1823-2001, with the bulk of materials dating from 1935-1994. Writings, letters and diaries make up most of the collection. Printed materials relate to exhibitions of Hopkins' artwork and theatrical performances of his wife, Gertrude Beach Hopkins. There also are writings by both Hopkins and his wife that appeared in the
Christian Science Monitor.
Of particular interest is a group of vintage family photographs and family papers dating from the 19th century, as well as diaries Hopkins kept while traveling and working in a mental hospital in inland China in the mid 1930s.
Manuscripts by Hopkins include his theories on perspective (the subject of his lectures at The Art Students League of New York) and the artistic methods of great masters. Hopkins also wrote about his theories concerning anthropological matters, world politics, over population, and the meaning of life. Much of Hopkins' correspondence concerns his efforts to explore career opportunities and find audiences for his ideas and writings.
The collection contains one intact scrapbook consisting of materials spanning Hopkins' art career, a substantial quantity of photographs and slides of Hopkins' paintings, some drawings and sketches, and a few sound and video recordings. In addition, there are writings by fathers of the couple, Charles R. Hopkins and Joseph Beach.
Biographical Note
Peter Hopkins (1911-1999) was an artist, educator and writer, who lived and worked in Greenwich Village in New York City.
Hopkins, the son of a theatrical producer, was educated at the prestigious Hotchkiss School. Despite limited formal education, he became a lecturer at the Art Students League of New York and an instructor at the New York Phoenix School of Design. Hopkins' paintings were exhibited in the 1950s-1960s. Hopkins wrote numerous unpublished manuscripts and was a columnist with the
Christian Science Monitor
in the 1970s. He was married to Gertrude Beach Hopkins (d.1997) an actress, who in later years was a poet.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 11 series. Records are generally arranged by material type and chronologiclly thereafter.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1823-1995 (Box 1; 0.1 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1934-2001 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings, 1908-1997 (Boxes 1-2; 0.7 linear feet)
Series 4: Diaries, 1945-1998 (Box 2; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 5: Subject Files, 1966-1990 (Box 2; 3 folders)
Series 6: Printed Material, 1945-1980 (Box 2; 2 folders)
Series 7: Scrapbook, 1949-1997 (Box 2; 0.2 linear feet)
Series 8: Artwork, 1943-circa 1980s (Box 2; 1 folder)
Series 9: Sketchbooks, 1963-1982 (Box 2; 2 folders)
Series 10: Photographic Materials, 1864-1990s (Box 3; 0.4 linear feet)
Series 11: Sound and Video Recordings, circa 1976-1977 (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)
Provenance
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2009 by the artist's neighbor, James McGuane.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Harriet E. Shapiro in 2012.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Peter Hopkins papers, 1823-2001, bulk 1935-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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