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 Luther Hooper  (1849 - 1932)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom      Known for: Landscape, genre painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Luther Hooper (1849-1932)

Born at Upper Tulse Hill, Brixton on 4 April 1849, son of Frederick J Hooper, manager of a drapery business at Highgate, and his wife Frances, daughter of James Webb, builder, of Long Melford, Suffolk.  In 1855 the family moved to Finsbury Pavement, Moorgate Street, City where Luther continued to reside until his marriage in 1872.  Educated at Stoke Newington and at High Street, Hoxton and age fourteen employed as office-boy with a stockbroker in Cornhill, London. 

During these two years he developed some skill in ornamental writing and illuminating and was introduced to Henry Shaw, an antiquary and an authority on old manuscripts who offered him a position in his office in Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, to learn illuminating and to copy ancient illuminated books, etc.  He was allowed to work at home at designing and drawing on wood for wood engravers, his chief customer being Mr Joseph Swaine of Bouverie Street, Fleet Street, a noted engraver.  After two years was employed as a designer by a representative for a French paperhanging company who also carried designs for sale to English paper stainers thus he added wallpaper designing to his work for the engravers.  During this time he began the practice of watercolor painting and exhibited pictures, and occasionally sold them at the Old Dudley Gallery in Piccadilly.

He married in September 1871, Georgianna Swainsbury and soon afterwards made an agreement with a wallpaper firm in London, Carlisle and Clegg, to make designs of wallpapers exclusively for them which ran for seventeen until the death of the two partners.  In 1881 they were living at 1 Bertram Villas, Green Lanes, Stoke Newington but in 1884 they moved to Hubbard’s Hall, Grove Road, Bentley, near Ipswich where they remained until 1901, during which time he studied the history, principles and technique of weaving and assisted in the formation and development of a handloom silk-weaving firm in Ipswich.

A member of Ipswich Fine Art Club exhibiting 1884-85.  He also exhibited six works, including a view in Devon and works entitled Morning Grey and Twilight at the Society of British Artists 1870-1882 and five works at the Royal Academy 1879-1891 including views of Nayland and East Bergholt churches, Suffolk and works entitled A Shepherd Boy’s Pastime and The Bird-Scarer’s Breakfast.  Leaving his wife and family at Yew Cottage, Tattingstone, near Ipswich, in 1901 he removed to 44 Falconer Road, Bushey to superintend a small tapestry-weaving industry and then removed to Haslemere and set up a few looms assisted by my son and three skilled weavers who had been with me at Ipswich.  In 1910 he left Haslemere taking a studio in the Grosvenor Road, Westminster he wrote several books including Handloom Weaving, Plain and Ornamental (1910) and Silk, Its production and Manufacture (1911).  He then taught and lectured at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, Southampton Row, retiring in 1923.  His wife remained at Tattingstone where she died in 1918, aged 69 and Luther died at St. Pancras, London in 1932, aged 83.

Information provided by Tony Copsey, author and researcher in Suffolk County, England

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