Budd Hopkins (American, 1931-2011) was an American painter, sculptor, and prominent figure in UFO and alien abduction phenomena and research. Hopkins was born in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1931. At age two, Hopkins contracted polio. During the long recovery process, Hopkins developed an interest in drawing and watercolors, which eventually led him to Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in art history in 1953. It was here, Hopkins was exposed to art with "a capital A", and attended a lecture by Robert Motherwell that first introduced him to the "automatic, gestural approach that Motherwell espoused."
From Oberlin, Hopkins moved to New York City, where he met Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and other abstract expressionists. For a time, Hopkins studied art history at Columbia University and worked a low-level job selling tickets at the Museum of Modern Art. His experimentation with collage techniques and style as an abstract expressionist won him national acclaim. In 1956, Hopkins' first solo show was held in New York City. Hopkins viewed collage as an artistic technique and a philosophical, aesthetic means of unifying a disjointed and fragmented world. Later, Hopkins included abstracted figures in his sculptural pieces. While moving away from Abstract Expressionism, Hopkins retained in his work the use of intense colors and hard-edged forms.
In 1976, Hopkins was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for painting. He also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His articles on art appeared in magazines and journals, and he lectured at many art schools, including Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill.In 1993, he was elected into the National Acaemy of Design as an Associate member and became a full Academician in 1994.
On August 21, 2011, Hopkins died from complications of cancer. The Whitney Museum, Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the British Museum include Hopkins' work in their permanent collections.