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Edward L. Loper, Sr.

Produced by Karen Smyles

January 2012

Edward L. Loper, Sr. was born April 7th, 1916 on the east side of Wilmington Delaware. He died October 11th, 2011. When we went to his home to interview him in April of 2011 it was difficult to believe that he was 95 years old. He still had a sense of humor and a lot of the fire that I would hear about from others I interviewed. He even let us watch him work on a painting he was working on of his lovely wife, Janet. It was clear that Ed Loper was going to live life to the fullest right up to the very end.

Loper wasn't supposed to become a successful artist. From the very beginning he had everything working against him as a poor, African American boy growing up in an environment that placed little to no value on art. Working several odd jobs just to pay the bills, he was able to study great artists and their work, on his own, and learned how to develop his own style and technique. He described himself as self-taught and spent much of his life sharing what he had discovered with his many faithful art students.

In this months segment of Art of Life we explore Loper's journey into the world of art. We hear from Julie McGee, Curator of African American Art at the University of Delaware Museum about why it is so important to celebrate the career of one of Delaware's leading artists, Edward L. Loper, Sr. The museum has always owned several of Loper's works and has inherited all of the works that were in his possession at the time of his death. Ed and his wife Janet felt this was where they belonged. We also meet one of his former students, who remained a good friend to the end, Marilyn A. Bauman. Bauman is the author of a book about Loper titled, The Prophet of Color.

Learn more about the Edward L. Loper collection at University Museums of The University of Delaware.
Edited by Meeri Kim