|Location:||Nyack, United States|
Edward Hopper was an illustrator who spent most of his early career in advertising. Later in his career, he specialized in common scenes of ordinary life and was most heavily influenced by the Ashcan School.
Hopper’s parents were Garret Henry Hopper and Elizabeth Griffiths Smith, and he had one sister, Marion Hopper. His father was a dry goods merchant, and the Hopper family was comfortably well-off due to his wife’s inheritance. Edward Hopper showed drawing talent by the age of five, and by the time he reached his teens, he was working in oil and watercolor. Hopper began suffering from health problems in the late 1940s and required several surgeries on his prostate gland. He died in his studio in New York City, and his wife died 10 months later. Upon their deaths, their joint art collection was donated to the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Art Institute of Chicago, the Des Moines Art Center, and the Museum of Modern Art also contain significant works by Hopper.
Hopper trained under Robert Henri from 1900 to 1906 at the New York Institute of Art and Design. Henri encouraged Hopper and his other students such as Rockwell Kent and George Bellows to imbue their art with a modern spirit. Henri and other artists in his circle such as John Sloan formed the Ashcan School, a collective of American Realist artists, which proved to be a strong influence on Hopper. He also studied oil painting under William Merritt Chase, who strongly affected Hopper’s work. Additional early influences on Hopper included Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet. Hopper also sketched live nudes, although he found this challenging due to his conservative upbringing. Hopper’s work was first exhibited at the Armory Show in 1913. He stopped painting at that point to support himself with commercial illustrations before returning to painting in 1923. Hopper then began to achieve recognition for portrayals of the loneliness and stagnation of ordinary American life. Hopper’s period of greatest productivity was in the 1930s and early 1940s when he produced many of his important works such as Girlie Show, Hotel Lobby, New York Movie, and Nighthawks. Despite his failing health, Hopper still managed to create a few more important works such as Hotel by a Railroad, Intermission, and Morning Sun.
- Hopper’sSmash the Hunearned him the U.S. Shipping Board Prize in 1918.
- Hopper’s wife Josephine Nivison was also a student of Robert Henri.
- Hopper’s boyhood home is now Edward Hopper House Art Center.