The papers of Massachusetts portait 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.
Also found at the Archives is a small miscellaneous manuscript collection of five letters to Chauncey Stillman from Charles Hopkinson.
Scope and Contents:
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.
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)
Biographical / Historical:
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).
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels N-68-106, 482, 486, 515, 634-639) including biographical material, family correspondence, writings, business records, printed materials, and 96 sketchbooks. While six of the sketchbooks were later donated, all other loaned materials was returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Portions of the collection were loaned for microfilming between 1969-1973. Charles Hopkinson's daughters and granddaughters, Joan Hopkinson Shurcliff, Harriot Rive, Elinor Barr, Mrs. John M. Clarke and Mrs. James Masek, donated additional material in 1973 and 1992.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. research center. Please contact reference services for more information.