Edward L. Loper Sr. was born on the East Side of Wilmington on 7 April 1916. He is basically a self taught painter, although he also studied at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia for ten years. He is represented in major permanent collections in the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Delaware Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, Howard University, the Museum of African American Art in Tampa, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Clark-Atlanta University Collection of African American Art, among others.
Loper was associated with the WPA Art Project from 1936-1941. In 1947 he started teaching full-time and continues to do so. He has private classes in his studio in Wilmington. He has taught at the Delaware Art Museum, Lincoln University, the Jewish Community Center, and various other places. A retrospective of his work was held at the Delaware Art Museum in 1996, representing some 60 years of his work.
Mr. Loper has received many awards, among them an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Delaware State University, and the Governor's Award for the Arts. (information from his wife, Janet Loper, 11 April 2002)