fun facts about edward hoper
House by the Railroad, was a famous painting created by the artist, which was the first work to be acquired for the Museum of Modern Art, which had only recently been opened for general viewing. Strongly defined lighting, clearly defined lines, and cropped viewpoints, were some of the features which this art work captured; and, this embodied the style in which Edward Hopper would use later on in his career, and with the future works that he would produce during the course of his career as an artist.
The themes of the tensions between individuals and the conflict between tradition and progress in both rural and urban settings, are motif that Edward Hopper always returns to, as artists have always returned to their beloved themes – Van Gogh his Sun Flowers, and Monet his Water Lilies. His choices of subject matter – particularly the places he painted – seem to have been somewhat unpredictable, since they were part of his constant battle with the chronic boredom that often stifled his urge to paint. This is what kept Hopper on the move – his search for inspiration, least painfully found in the stimulation of new surroundings.
Josephine was instrumental in Hopper’s transition from oils to watercolors and shared her art-world connections with him. These connections soon led to a one-man exhibition for Hopper at the Rehn Gallery, during which all of his watercolors were sold. The success of the show allowed Hopper to quit his illustration work for good and marked the beginning of a lifelong association between Hopper and the Rehn.
Edward Hopper was born on July 22, 1882, in Nyack, New York, a small shipbuilding community on the Hudson River. The younger of two children in an educated middle-class family, Hopper was encouraged in his intellectual and artistic pursuits and by the age of 5 was already exhibiting a natural talent. He continued to develop his abilities during grammar school and high school, working in a range of media and forming an early love for impressionism and pastoral subject matter. Among his earliest signed works is an 1895 oil painting of a rowboat. Before deciding to pursue his future in fine art, Hopper imagined a career as a nautical architect.
Edward Hopper, (born July 22, 1882, Nyack, N.Y., U.S.—died May 15, 1967, New York City), American painter whose realistic depictions of everyday urban scenes shock the viewer into recognition of the strangeness of familiar surroundings. He strongly influenced the Pop art and New Realist painters of the 1960s and 1970s.
Hopper was initially trained as an illustrator, but, between 1901 and 1906, he studied painting under Robert Henri, a member of a group of painters called the Ashcan School. Hopper travelled to Europe three times between 1906 and 1910, but he remained untouched by the experimental work then blossoming in France and continued throughout his career to follow his own artistic course. Although he exhibited paintings in the Armory Show of 1913, he devoted most of his time to advertising art and illustrative etchings until 1924. He then began to do such watercolours as Model Reading (1925), as well as oil paintings. Like the painters of the Ashcan School, Hopper painted the commonplaces of urban life. But, unlike their loosely organized, vivacious paintings, his House by the Railroad (1925) and Room in Brooklyn (1932) show still, anonymous figures and stern geometric forms within snapshot-like compositions that create an inescapable sense of loneliness. This isolation of his subjects was heightened by Hopper’s characteristic use of light to insulate persons and objects in space, whether in the harsh morning light ( Early Sunday Morning, 1930) or the eerie light of an all-night coffee stand ( Nighthawks, 1942).
In 1915 Hopper took up etching, and in the 60-odd plates produced in the next 8 years, especially between 1919 and 1923, he first expressed in a mature style what he felt about the American scene. His prints presented everyday aspects of America with utter truthfulness, fresh direct vision, and an undertone of intense feeling. They were his first works to be admitted to the big exhibitions, to win prizes, and to attract attention from critics. With this recognition he began in the early 1920s to paint more and with a new assurance, at first in oil, then in watercolor. Thenceforth the two mediums were equally important in his work.
After his breakthrough in the 1920s, Hopper received many honors and awards, and increasing admiration from both traditionalists and the avant-garde. He died in his Washington Square studio on May 15, 1967.
Edward Hopper is known worldwide for his realistic paintings, although based on a very particular vision of contemporary loneliness.
Discover 10 interesting facts about the American painter and watercolourist.
Only by the age of 37, and with the help of Josephine – already recognized in the art world at the time – Edward Hopper received the first invitation to exhibit six of his watercolors at the Brooklyn Museum (1923). One of the watercolors was acquired by the Museum for its permanent collection, turning it into the second painting that the artist sold in 10 years. Nevertheless, Hopper’s work quickly became noticed, having reached recognition by the age of 41.
Hopper died in his studio near Washington Square in New York City on May 15, 1967. He was buried two days later in the family’s grave at Oak Hill Cemetery in Nyack, New York, his place of birth. His wife died ten months later.
At forty-one, Hopper received further recognition for his work. He continued to harbor bitterness about his career, later turning down appearances and awards. With his financial stability secured by steady sales, Hopper would live a simple, stable life and continue creating art in his distinctive style for four more decades.
Widely remembered as the premiere artist to capture the nation’s zeitgeist throughout the Great Depression, Edward Hopper‘s candid portraits of America have secured him a seat in the art historical canon. As he said in an interview with John Morse for the Smithsonian Institution in 1959: “My aim in painting has always been the most exact transcription possible of my most intimate impressions of nature.”
5. The Whitney holds the largest collection of his work.
Following her husband’s death in 1967, Nivison Hopper entrusted her husband’s estate to the Whitney Museum of American Art. She passed away less than a year later, and bequeathed much of her own artistic production to the museum, bringing the total number between the couple to a whopping 3,000 pieces.