GLOUCESTER, MA.- The Cape Ann Museum
will present an exhibition of the paintings of Manchester painter, Charles Hopkinson (1869-1962). An opening reception will be held on Saturday June 13, 2009 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. This program is free and open to the public.
Best known as the dean of American portrait painters, Charles S. Hopkinson (1869-1962) had a long and productive career that over the course of 60 years took him into the homes of some of this countrys most esteemed educators, politicians and businessmen. Through it all Hopkinson never lost touch with the place he lived so much of his life, a place that friend and fellow artist John Singer Sargent once called paradise Sharksmouth, the Hopkinson familys summer estate overlooking the ocean in Manchester.
Hopkinson produced over 450 formal commissioned portraits during his career. His reputation as a portraitist was secured at the conclusion of the First World War when he was among eight artists selected to execute formal portraits of members of the Versailles Peace Conference. Thereafter, portrait commissions from prominent citizens came quickly and steadily.
In addition to formal portraits, Hopkinson also painted self-portraits, richly-hued portraits of family and friends, and innumerable watercolors, a medium he worked in throughout his career. Often referred to as modern by critics of the time, Hopkinsons watercolors are characterized by bright palettes and decorative compositions. Many of his watercolors were inspired by the view from the terrace at Sharksmouth. It was in these particular works that the artist sought to capture what is often impossible to catch, the dazzle of light on ocean waters or on newly fallen snow, the effects of ocean-driven winds on the coastal landscape, light as reflected in the oceans surge as it pulls back over rocks.
The exhibition includes paintings from the collection of the extended Hopkinson family and from the Cape Ann Museums own collection. Additional works come from private and public collections throughout the region, including the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.