Edward Loper at the Delaware Art Center, c. 1960. Delaware Art Museum Archives
Edward Loper Sr.
Date: American painter, 1916–2011
Biography: Wilmington painter Edward Loper, Sr., is one of Delaware's most celebrated artists. Loper was born on the East Side of Wilmington and lived in the state his entire life. From 1936 through 1941, Loper worked for the Work Projects Administration (WPA). He studied art at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. His exposure there to the works of Cézanne, Matisse, and other modern painters brightened his palette and changed the structure of his canvasses. In 1947, he was able to leave his job at the Allied Kid leather tanning factory to become a full-time artist and instructor. Loper taught generations of local artists his distinctive approach to form and color. Loper's work was exhibited regularly at the Delaware Art Museum. When the Museum purchased After a Shower in 1937, it was the first work by an African American to enter the collection.