Frances Anne Hopkins

by Amanda from Barrie, Canada

"I have not found Canadians at all anxious hitherto
for pictures of their own country."

Frances Anne Hopkins was born on February 2, 1838 in London, England. When she was little, she loved drawing and painting. This was no surprise because she came from a family of artists. In 1858, Frances married Edward Hopkins, a Hudson's Bay Company officer, and moved to Canada.

For the twelve years that Frances lived in Canada, she traveled with her husband and the voyageurs on many inspection canoe trips. During these trips, she painted detailed and accurate paintings of the fur traders and the upper Great Lakes. This made Frances one of the most famous artists in the 1800s. On May 3, 1869, Frances went back to London, England for the opening of her first art exhibition at the Royal Academy. Frances' artwork was displayed on a Canadian stamp on November 18, 1988.

Voyageurs (canoemuseum.net)
Voyageurs (canoemuseum.net)

Frances is my hero because she followed her dreams. When Frances was growing up, art was not considered a career but a hobby for young ladies because it was dirty and smelly and was not lady-like. People also felt that women weren't able to finish large oil paintings because it was too physically demanding. But that didn't stop Frances because she was determined and didn't let others decide her future.

Canoes in a Fog, Lake Superior, 1869 (glenbow museum collection)
Canoes in a Fog, Lake Superior, 1869 (glenbow museum collection)

Frances has inspired me and shown me that I can be anything I want to be. I love art and drawing pictures. I can't imagine not being able to make art my career if that is what I would choose. Whatever I decide to be when I grow up, I will not let others tell me I can't because I am a woman.

Frances Anne Hopkins is an amazing woman because she didn't let anyone tell her that she couldn't do art because she was a woman. She has inspired me to follow my dreams.

Page created on 9/8/2008 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/4/2017 9:37:23 PM

Related Links

Frances Anne Hopkins - Glenbow Museum
Famous Canadian Women on Postage Stamps - For information about the stamp featuring Frances Anne Hopkins