Oral history interview with Henry Tyler Hopkins, 1980 Oct. 24-Dec. 17
Hopkins, Henry T. (Henry Tyler), 1928-2009
Blum, Shirley Neilsen
Bengston, Billy Al
Copley, William Nelson
Price, Kenneth Martin
Art Institute of Chicago
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Fort Worth Art Museum
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Sound recording: 7 sound cassettes
Transcript: 90 p.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Henry Tyler Hopkins conducted 1980 Oct. 24-1980 Dec. 17, by Wesley Chamberlin, for the Archives of American Art.
Hopkins speaks of his childhood and family background in Idaho; his education in Idaho and at the Art Institute of Chicago; his U.S. Army service as a photographer; the influence upon him of the early abstract expressionists; moving to California and getting involved in the museum community; working as a curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and developing its collection of modern works; becoming the director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the value of art appreciation over art entertainment; problems with corporate and federal support; the psychological aspects of Jackson Pollack's work; pop art; the Bay area art scene; and the role of art museums. He recalls Shirley and Walter Hopps, Ed Ruscha, Joe Goode, Larry Bell, Ed Bereal, Ron Miyashiro, Jackson Pollack, Joseph Cornell, Billy Al Bengston, Kenny Price, Robert Irwin, William Copley, Franz Kline, and many others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Henry Tyler Hopkins, 1980 Oct. 24-Dec. 17. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available on line.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Henry Hopkins (1928-2009) was a director of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001