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Celebrating Edward Hopper

“Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.”

So said renowned Realist painter Edward Hopper, who was born in Nyack on this very day in 1882. In his extensive body of work, Mr. Hopper painted real scenes of American life, often in an abstracted way: strangers’ lives (New York Interior, 1921), city streets (Early Sunday Morning, 1930), theatres (New York Movie, 1939), gas stations (Gas, 1940) — and the list goes on.

His often matter-of-fact style, his use of lightand his voyeuristic perspectives suggest an inner life of quietude, reflection and curiosity — perhaps even of loneliness. He was an astute observer and a remarkable talent, and his paintings have the power to inspire even the most unfocused of viewers to stop and just be present. NYSOM is embracing that “live in the moment” spirit with a celebration of Mr. Hopper’s life (he would be 131-years-old today) and his incredible works of art. Read on to see how you can get up close and personal with the artist he was — and the paintings we so admire.

WHERE HE GREW UP: Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack

Mr. Hopper was born and raised in Nyack, just 30 miles north of New York City. On the National Register of Historic Places, the Edward Hopper House is a nonprofit community art center that preserves his childhood home and encourages visitors to engage with the arts by offering private art lessons, portfolio reviews for rising high school seniors and summer jazz concerts.

GETTING THERE: By car, Nyack is accessible via Routes I-87, I-287 and 9W. By train, take the Metro-North Railroad to Tarrytown then hop on the Tappan Zee Express Bus.

HOURS: Wed. - Sun. from 12-5 p.m. (or by appointment)

ADMISSION: $7 for adults (with free admission the first Friday of each month)


  • Hopper’s 2nd Floor Bedroom. Mr. Hopper was born in this room and lived in the home until 1910. Throughout his life, he gazed out his bedroom window at the Hudson River and passing sailboats, both of which were an obvious influence on his nautical scenes in later work.
  • A photographic journey through Hopper’s world. Ever wonder what the scenes Mr. Hopper painted actually look like in real life? Photographer and native New Yorker Charles Sternaimolo identified over 150 places that Mr. Hopper painted, then took photographic imitations of them. This exhibit is ongoing.
  • Dorothea Lange’s America. The tone of Ms. Lange’s photos from the Great Depression are not unlike that of Mr. Hopper’s paintings: honest, raw, un-idealized. This exhibit is on view until August 18, 2013.

WHERE HE WORKED: The Edward Hopper Studio in NYC

Edward Hopper moved to Washington Square park in 1913, where he lived and worked until his death in 1967. His Studio is in one of three buildings used by New York University and is open for tours by special appointment.

GETTING THERE: The Studio is located at 3 Washington Square North. Take the ACE trains or BDFM trains to West 4th St. - Washington Square; or the NR trains to 8th St - NYU.

HOURS: Visits can be arranged by special appointment. Contact Amanda Lorencz at 212-998-5900.

HIS CREATIVE PROCESS: “Hopper Drawing” at The Whitney Museum of American Art

The precision of Hopper’s finished canvases doesn’t convey the artist’s detailed methodology of putting brush to canvas. Hopper Drawing delves into his creative process, showing hundreds of meticulous sketches and studies of the artist’s most famous works. Leading up to such masterpieces as Nighthawks (1942) and New York Movie (1939) is page after page of practice. In a very rare public display, viewers can see how Mr. Hopper practiced manipulating light, shapes and lines, and where he made notes to himself for extra shading or a pop of color. Hopper Drawing is exhibited on the museum’s third floor and is on view until October 6.

GETTING THERE: The museum is located at 945 Madison Avenue. Take the 6 train to 77th St.

HOURS: Weekends & Wed. - Thurs. from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Fri. from 1-9 p.m.

ADMISSION: $20 general admission (or pay-as-you-wish on Fridays from 6-9 p.m.)

DON’T MISS: While we encourage you to explore every inch of the Whitney, make sure you check out the ongoing exhibit on the fifth floor, American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe; a handful of Hopper paintings are on display in that show.

There is more to come on one of New York’s greatest native artists on the NYSOM Magazine. Until then, Happy Birthday, Mr. Hopper!

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