Friday, November 8, 2013

American Folk Art - Milton Hopkins 1789-1844

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Woman Wearing a Yellow Ribboned Lace Bonnet

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Young Woman Wearing a Pink Ribboned Bonnet

I love these brightly-painted, spunky ladies from America's rural mid-west. Most, except the mother, are holding a book to either prove that they could read or that they knew their Bible. The exception has a painted miniature of a loved one dangling from her neck. Milton W. Hopkins was born in Harwinton, Connecticut. In 1802, he moved with his family to Pompey Hill, New York. After the death of his first wife, Hopkins remarried in 1817, and shortly thereafter relocated to Evans Mills, New York. He painted in the Watertown, New York area and in the Erie Canal towns of western New York State in the 1820s, moving with his family to Albion, in 1823.

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Unknown Lady Wearing a Locket Miniature

In 1836, Hopkins packed up his wife and 10 children and headed west to Ohio, settling in Clermont County. Though he never sold the Clermont County farm (he would die there in 1844), he set up a studio in Columbus (1840-1843) and then in Cincinnati (1843-1844). Based on identified portraits, Hopkins traveled throughout the region for commissions. Hopkins was a fervent anti-Mason and temperance advocate, and according to research by Jacquelyn Oak, it may have been his growing abolitionist sentiment that drove him to Ohio. She further postulates that it was through his anti-slavery efforts that Hopkins met fellow abolitionist and lawyer James Collins whose family appears here in portraits.

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Sabrina Butler

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Woman in a Pink Ribbon Lace Bonnet

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844). Fanny Aiken, 1835

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Ann Gennett Pixley Lacey (1809 - 1841)

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Pierrepont Edward Lacey (1832 - after 1860) and His Dog, Gun

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Aphia Salisbury Rich and Baby Edward, c. 1833

Milton W. Hopkins (American painter, 1789-1844) Eliza Pixley Lacey

Milton W. Hopkins (American painter, 1789-1844) Mrs James Collins

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) James and Alfred Collins Children of Mrs and Mrs James Collins

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Virginia Ada Wright