Mr and Mrs Hopper

Gail Levin

  • Edward Hopper edited by Sheena Wagstaff
    Tate Gallery, 256 pp, £29.99, May 2004, ISBN 1 85437 533 4

Edward Hopper languished into his forties as a commercial illustrator. He got his first break thanks to a boost from a fellow artist called Josephine Verstille Nivison, who in the fall of 1923 got the Brooklyn Museum to include him in a group show to which she had been invited to contribute. He married her the following year. Success of a sort followed. Hopper’s painting of a tall, old-fashioned house, cut off by the modern encroachment of a railroad track, was the first painting acquired by the new Museum of Modern Art, and he had his first retrospective there three years later, in 1933. His watercolours and canvases were snapped up by patrons and museums almost as soon as they were finished. He had major museum shows.

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