Ed Loper Sr., influential artist
For the past half century, Ed Loper had been a central figure in the art world of Delaware. His memorable scenes of Market Street, the Brandywine and other scenic landscapes have become an invaluable part of the Delaware Valley art tradition. The mostly self-taught artist has influenced and enhanced the First State in several ways. Through his art, he opened the doors of the Delaware Art Museum to diverse artists. Through teaching, he influenced hundreds of students in developing an appreciation of the aesthetic. And through representation in collections and galleries throughout the region, the nation and abroad, he became Delaware’s art ambassador. The Ed Loper experience reads like a Horatio Alger story. He overcame racial barriers and mainstream gallery exclusiveness, as well as class and social divisions. Delawareans young and old alike have been enriched by his vision, tenacity and rugged individualism. For decades, Ed served as a catalyst for multi-ethnic and cultural understanding. At the Delaware Art Museum’s opening of the Loper show, then-U.S. Sen. Joe Biden commented that recognition of Loper’s work was “long overdue.” As an artist of the community, Loper developed and nurtured his skills in his native Delaware. In doing so, he opened the eyes of Delawareans to the Loper Tradition. His artistic renderings of his beloved Delaware are a tribute to his unmistakable style. Ed Loper Sr., one of Delaware’s premier artists, has influenced, enhanced and enriched the populace through his artistic vision. The Loper Tradition is a major contribution to the cultural legacy of the state.