Visiting Edward Hopper House Art Center

I took the picture above in Nyack, NY last Friday of the last rays of the sun hitting the home the painter Edward Hopper (1882-1967) grew up in. I've been fortunate to visit many many times over the years and even to set up my easel and paint its interior.

As luck would have it I was there on a cloudless and brilliantly sunny late afternoon- what I often call "Hopper light." So often it is the theme of loneliness or alienation people find in his paintings.  Yet to me Hopper's greatest achievement is his celebrating intense and vividly alive sunlight. To me nobody did it better.

 Hopper's bedroom- the room where he was born.
Two of its windows overlook the Hudson River,
one block away.

The home where Hopper lived on and off until he was 30 is now the Edward Hopper House Art Center. If you're a Hopper lover, you need to go. So much of what Hopper was to become stems from his years in the house and its immediate neighborhood. 

Hopper said and wrote very little about his art. This is
one of the few quotes we have from him. It's painted
on the stairwell to the second floor.

The Hopper House stages regular exhibitions of work by prominent contemporary artists (currently it has a Carrie Mae Weems photography show up). It also has a rotating exhibit of art and memorabilia from the Sanborn Collection. 


One of the many caricatures Hopper made poking fun at 
his relationship with his wife Jo. Hopper is such a serious
painter that it's a little surprising to see his sense of humor
coming out.

An installation of photos of Hopper's early life.

One of my favorites of the photos- Hopper as an art student
at the New York School of Art.

Hopper's paintbox. It's funny how dull and ordinary his tools
and materials look to us now. In comparison the paintings 
he produced using the contents of this box shine like new.

Some model boats Hopper made as a boy.

When Hopper was really  young he sat in this
old wooden high chair.

Hopper Family Tree

Another of Hopper's caricatures. This one making
fun of his wife Jo, an artist herself, and her excuses not to paint.

Early drawings Hopper made (I believe as a teenager) just down 
the street on the banks of the Hudson River.

This last drawing below is my favorite of the Hoppers that are on display, a caricature of his wife Jo standing triumphant atop an emaciated Edward. Even though it's just a quick sketch you can see in it Hopper's exquisite awareness of the expressiveness of gesture and line.


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