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It is not unusual for artists to be peripatetic, and that was the kind of life Edna Beachboard Boies Hopkins led. Born in Hudson, a small town in southern Michigan, she married John Boies at the age of nineteen. The couple soon moved to Chicago and then, after John contracted tuberculosis, to Colorado. Following his death in 1894, she went to the Art Academy of Cincinnati where she studied illustration, life drawing, and wood carving beginning in 1895. After four years, she relocated to New York and enrolled at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn; Arthur Wesley Dow was one of her instructors. She served as an art teacher at a private girls’ school in Manhattan before remarriage in 1904.

With her second husband, fellow artist James Roy Hopkins, she traveled to the Far East and Africa, before settling in Paris for a decade. They visited small towns throughout France and northern Italy, and remained abroad until the outbreak of World War I. James took a position at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, while Edna divided her time between Ohio and New York, and spent summers in Maine and Provincetown, Massachusetts. At war’s end, the Hopkinses moved back to Paris for three years before returning stateside. Soon after, Edna Hopkins seems to have abandoned making art due to arthritis, but continued to travel and lecture.

Hopkins’ forte was Japanese-style color woodblock prints, and over a two-decade career, she created seventy-four impressions. This concentration had been inspired by Dow, who collected Ukiyo-e prints and, in his teaching, emphasized line, color, and notan, the Japanese concept regarding the balance of light and dark. While in Japan on her honeymoon, Edna probably met Helen Hyde, the American artist instrumental in spreading an appreciation for Japonisme and printmaking. A great majority of Hopkins’ imagery consists of flowers and other vegetation, although during two sojourns in southern Kentucky she depicted local scenery and area residents.

During the summers in Provincetown, she encountered her classmates from the art school in Cincinnati, Maud Squire and Ethel Mars, along with Southern artists Anna Heyward Taylor, Blanche Lazzell, and her cousin Grace Martin Taylor. Together, they experimented with the white-line method for woodblock prints, an approach that eliminates the cutting several blocks and instead necessitates deep grooves between color areas, resulting in clean, modernist images. Collectively these women, along with B. J. O. Nordfeldt who invented the technique, became known as the Provincetown Printers.  Hopkins was awarded a silver medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.. Her work can be found in important museum collections in the United States and Europe.