The Old Print Shop

Edna Boies Hopkins


Edna Boies Hopkins (1872-1937) was born Edna Bel Beachboard in Hudson, Michigan, on October 13, 1872.  In 1892 she married John Henry Boies who was a respected banker in Hudson.  They moved to Chicago and soon thereafter John Boies contracted Tuberculosis.  They moved to Denver for his recuperation, and he died in 1894.  Hopkins moved to Cincinnati where she enrolled in the Art Academy of Cincinnati.  She studied life drawing and illustration. Her earliest woodcuts date from this period.  While in Cincinnati she met James Roy Hopkins.  Maud Hunt Squire and Ethel Mars were fellow students at the academy.

In 1899 she moved to New York and began studying at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with Arthur Wesley Dow and Fenner Shauman.  Dow introduced her to the ukiyo-e school of Japanese woodblock printing along with his formula of three main elements.  These ideas and designs served the artist well in her long career as a color woodcut printer.

She taught traditional forms of art at Veltin School for Girls before marrying James Roy Hopkins in 1904.  The two traveled to the Far East and Africa before settling in Paris.  At the outbreak of WWI, they moved back to the United States, and they settled in Ohio.  James worked at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and Edna divided her time between Ohio and New York.  They spent summers in Maine and Provincetown, Massachusetts.  While in Provincetown, she reconnected with her classmates, Maud Hunt Squire and Ethel Mars, along with the other artists living and working there.

After WWI James and Edna moved back to Paris.  Sometime in the 1920’s she stopped making woodcuts due to arthritis.  She died in Detroit, Michigan, on March 24, 1937.