Edward L. Loper Sr. was born on the east side of Wilmington on April 7, 1916. He displayed a keen interest in art at an early age and quickly taught himself the basic techniques of drawing and painting. From 1936-1941, Loper worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Art Project (a New Deal program designed to provide work for unemployed artists). In 1947, he became a full-time art instructor and quickly earned a legendary reputation as a teacher. Loper has taught at the Delaware Art Museum, Lincoln University, and Wilmington’s Jewish Community Center, among others.
Edward Loper’s paintings are found in many of the nation’s most prestigious art collections including the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., Howard University, the Museum of African-American Art in Tampa, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Clark-Atlanta University Collection of African-American Art. Locally, Loper’s paintings are found in the collections of the Delaware Art Museum, the Biggs Museum, the University of Delaware’s Paul R. Jones Collection of African-American Art, and many others.