The Dream Colony by Walter Hopps
A Life in Art

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Intimate memories from an acclaimed curator and museum director...Sharply drawn sketches and illuminating anecdotes make this book a treat for art lovers.


A panoramic look at art in America in the second half of the twentieth century, through the eyes of the visionary curator who helped shape it.

An innovative, iconoclastic curator of contemporary art, Walter Hopps founded his first gallery in L.A. at the age of twenty-one. At twenty-four, he opened the Ferus Gallery with then-unknown artist Edward Kienholz, where he turned the spotlight on a new generation of West Coast artists. Ferus was also the first gallery ever to show Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans and was shut down by the L.A. vice squad for a show of Wallace Berman's edgy art. At the Pasadena Art Museum in the sixties, Hopps mounted the first museum retrospectives of Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell and the first museum exhibition of Pop Art--before it was even known as Pop Art. In 1967, when Hopps became the director of Washington's Corcoran Gallery of Art at age thirty-four, the New York Times hailed him as "the most gifted museum man on the West Coast (and, in the field of contemporary art, possibly in the nation)." He was also arguably the most unpredictable, an eccentric genius who was chronically late. (His staff at the Corcoran had a button made that said WALTER HOPPS WILL BE HERE IN TWENTY MINUTES.) Erratic in his work habits, he was never erratic in his commitment to art.

Hopps died in 2005, after decades at the Menil Collection of art in Houston for which he was the founding director. A few years before that, he began work on this book. With an introduction by legendary Pop artist Ed Ruscha, The Dream Colony is a vivid, personal, surprising, irreverent, and enlightening account of his life and of some of the greatest artistic minds of the twentieth century.

About Walter Hopps

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Walter Hopps (1932–2005) was a curator and museum director who worked at the Pasadena Art Museum, the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian’s National Collection of Fine Arts, the Menil Collection, which he helped create, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.Deborah Treisman has been the fiction editor of the New Yorker since 2003, and was deputy fiction editor for six years before that. She hosts the award-winning New Yorker Fiction Podcast, and was the editor of the anthology 20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker. From 1994 to 1997 she was the managing editor of the art and literary quarterly Grand Street, for which Hopps was the art editor.Anne Doran has written for Art in America, Artforum, ARTnews, Atlantica, and Time Out New York. From 1996 to 2004 she was an editor at Grand Street. Her artwork has been shown in New York at Invisible-Exports and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and in Europe at the Stedelijk Museum and the Centre Georges Pompidou, among other venues.
Published June 6, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA. 330 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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on Mar 28 2017

Intimate memories from an acclaimed curator and museum director...Sharply drawn sketches and illuminating anecdotes make this book a treat for art lovers.

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