Happy birthday Edward Hopper!

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Self portrait, 1906

Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882—May 15, 1967) was an American realist painter and etcher. He depicted both urban and rural scenes, often of Paris and places around New England. His best-known painting is Nighthawks (1942).

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Hopper was born in Nyack, New York to Garret Henry Hopper and Elizabeth Griffiths Smith. As a child, Hopper was a good student and began drawing at the age of five. His parents encouraged his art, his mother coming from an artistic background and his father having an affinity for French and Russian culture. By the time he was a teenager, Hopper was using charcoal, pen and ink, watercolors, and oils to create his art.

By 1899, Hopper had transferred from an art correspondence course into the New York Institute of Art and Design. Among his teachers were William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri, who instructed him in oil painting. His early influences were Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas. After painting nudes, still lifes, landscapes, and portraits as a student, he moved on to urban and architectural scenery. (Image source)

In the fall of 1906, Hopper went to Paris, and then continued to travel throughout the northern part of Europe. When he returned to the United States, he spent much of his time in the country.

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Hopper sold his first painting, Sailing, in 1913 at the famous Armory Show. Following this, he did not sell another painting until much later.

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During a lag in popularity, he took up work for a movie company, handling publicity and illustrations for movie posters. He also turned to etching, creating some 70 works that generally focused on scenes of Paris or New York.

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In the summer of 1923, at the age of 41, Hopper met Josephine Nivison, who had also studied at the New York Institute of Art and Design. She was to have an exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum and she got Hopper's work to be included. Following this, the museum bought his painting The Mansard Roof. This resulted in the most publicity he had ever seen. He later married Nivison.

Hopper's work rarely portrayed action. He is perhaps best known for his painting Nighthawks (1942).

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Hopper and "Jo" purchased their first car in 1927 and the two traveled to remote landscapes in New England. They often painted together in their car so they could look directly at their subjects, which were usually scenes of the outdoors.

He went on to be very productive throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Some of his most notable works include New York Movie (1939),

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Girlie Show (1941),

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Hotel Lobby (1943),

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and Morning in a City (1944).

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Tuesday, 22 July 2014
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