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Floyd D. Hopper artwork and papers

Identifier: L463

Scope and Contents

The collection is unique in that it includes his early works from his first time at the John Herron Art School (1929-1933) as well as personal journals Hopper kept listing the sales, exhibits, and loans of his artwork during a large portion of his career. The collection also includes exhibit programs and photographs of some of his later works.

Oversize items include Hopper's design for a stained glass window to be placed in a library, the design of a library room, a charcoal drawing of men working and two designs for a department store decoration (OBE005) and a color drawing of a man with three children (OBF001).


  • 1929-1980


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Floyd D. Hopper was born November 1, 1909 in Martin County, Indiana. The son of Edward Lewis and Sarah E. (Archer) Hopper, he had two siblings, Zelda and Delbert. In 1929, after graduating from West Baden High School, he attended the John Herron Art School in Indianapolis, graduating the certificate program in 1933. For a brief time, studied briefly at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He later returned to Herron to earn a bachelor's degree, studying under several notable Hoosier artists including William Forsyth, before graduating in 1940. Hopper married Hazel Glenne Whitefeather (1906-2001) in 1936. Hazel Hopper worked at the Indiana State Library for 44 years from 1931 to 1975.

After World War II ended, Hopper spent over a decade working for the Noblesville Casting Iron Company, which he founded with two partners. In 1958, he left to pursue his art career, primarily working in printmaking and painting oil and watercolor landscapes, commissioned portraits and his favorite subjects: the backyards, alleyways, city streets, and workers of the American Scene. Hopper became known as the "dean of Indiana watercolors."

He died on July 2, 1984 and was buried in Oaklawn Memorial Gardens in Fishers, Indiana.


Items in the collection. "Floyd D. Hopper." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed April 9, 2021.

Miller, Evan N. "Floyd Hopper Papers, 1920-1982." Finding aid. Archives, Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Accessed April 9, 2021.


2.3 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 6 medium oversize boxes, 2 metal slide boxes, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Hopper estate in 2003/07.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

S0681: Hazel W. Hopper papers

OH153: Floyd Hopper oral history

OH154: Hazel Hopper oral history

A001: Floyd D. Hopper autumn hills painting

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2003/10 by Jill E. Costill. EAD finding aid created 2003/10 by Jill E. Costill. EAD finding aid revised 2015/11/06; 2020/10/08; 2021/04/09 by Brittany Kropf; 2022/01/11; 2023/07/24 by Lauren Patton.
Floyd D. Hopper artwork and papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.