Our Visionaries

Current Exhibition:

The Great Mystery Show

The Great Mystery Show

Oct 7, 2017–Sep 2, 2018

From psychics to physicists, The Great Mystery Show artfully peels away the veil of the unknown, playfully exploring mystery as that one secret power behind great art, science, and pursuit of the sacred.

More

John Root Hopkins, Grim Reaper (detail), 1996, Mixed media on wood panel

John Root Hopkins

(1930– )

John Root Hopkins was born in August 1930 in Columbia, South Carolina, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1952, then saw combat in the Korean War from 1953 to 1954. After graduating from George Washington University Law School in 1958, he practiced patent law in Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania until he retired in 1986. Although Hopkins had made art since nursery school, he began painting in earnest after he retired. Once, when a scheduled art show was cancelled, he mounted his own, inviting people to come see his work and "Live Dancing Girls." They turned out to be little girls from the local ballet school hired for the opening. He filled his house with his works, invited friends to judge the show, and, perhaps not surprisingly, won first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh place, not to mention best in show. Hopkins' works have hung in the National Gallery, the Phillips, the Corcoran, the Tate, and the Louvre, where he himself has mounted his miniatures in men's room stalls. "That janitorial help stole the pieces shortly thereafter is of no moment to this arresting fact," Hopkins says.