A Finding Aid to the Peter Hopkins Papers,
1823-2001,
bulk 1935-1994
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.hopkpete
Creators:
Hopkins, Peter, 1911-1999
Dates:
1823-2001
bulk 1935-1994
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
2.4 Linear Feet
Repository:
The Peter Hopkins papers measure 2.4 linear feet and date from 1823-2001, with the bulk of the 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.

Scope and Content Note
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.

Arrangement
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)

Biographical Note
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.
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.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Harriet E. Shapiro in 2012.
Author
Harriet E. Shapiro
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2009 by the artist's neighbor, James McGuane.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Peter Hopkins papers, 1823-2001, bulk 1935-1994. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Peter Hopkins papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Paianters -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Philosophy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beach, Joseph Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopkins, Charles Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/