Frances Anne Hopkins

Frances Anne Hopkins (February 2, 1838 March 5, 1919) was a British painter. She was the third of Frederick William Beechey's five children.[1] In 1858, she married a Hudson's Bay Company official, Edward Hopkins, whose work took him to North America. Hopkins travelled alongside with him. While sailing, she was able to sketch extensively, therefore, capturing a now lost way of living – the last days of the fur trade.[2]

Frances Anne Hopkins, 1863, by William Notman

Hopkins painted actively during the 1860s and '70s.[3] Her best-known works are several large paintings made from her sketches. She portrayed a voyageur's life in the mid-nineteenth century.[4] Hopkins, however, remained relatively unknown until recently. At the same time, considering that, she was an artist placed in a context where gender-imposed restrictions were prevalent. In fact, Frances Anne Hopkins was dubbed as a woman who "staked out an identity based on difference: a woman in a group of men."[5] Her works were featured at exhibitions of the Art Association of Montreal, followed by, eleven exhibitions at the Royal Academy in London.[6]

The Hopkins family returned to England in 1870 where she lived until her death. Hopkins was an artist able to record an important aspect of Canadian history.[7]