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Paris Art Studies – Edward Hopper 1882 - 1967


1882 - Edward Hopper is born in Nyack, New York son of Garret Henry Hopper from New Jersey owner of a dry goods store. His mother Elizabeth Griffiths Smith is the heir of several properties, which contribute to the family’s prosperity. An older sister Marion Louise was born in 1880.

1895 - Hopper starts drawing using ink, gouache and watercolor. His subjects are cycling, photography, baseball, US history and caricatures of politicians, the differences between men and women, Irish immigrants…

1899-1900 – Graduates from Nyack High School. Undertakes art lessons by correspondence from the New York School of Illustration, hoping for a career as a professional illustrator.

1900 - Hopper studies at the New York School of Art (also known as the “Chase School” run by the artist William Merritt Chase) until 1906. He studies illustration under Arthur Ignatius Keller and Frank Vincent DuMond. Befriends the artist Clarence K. Chatterton. His classmates are George Bellows, Patrick Henry Bruce, Guy Pène du Bois, Walter Pach.

1901 – Switches from illustration to the study of the fine arts. He studies color in parallel to drawing in a non-academic mode from the live model.

1902 – His new professor, Robert Henri (who had studied in Philadelphia and Europe) will have a great influence on him. He turns away from the study of still life to that of the portrait and self portrait.

1903 – Receives first prize for life drawing. Executes a series of illustrations in ink of the poems of Edgar Allan Poe.

1904 - While pursuing his studies named teacher of painting, drawing and print making at the New York School of Art.

1905 – Hired as illustrator by C.C. Phillips and Company a New York advertising agency.

1906 – Visits Paris for the first time where he discovers Impressionism. He most particularly studies the works of Pissarro, Renoir and Sisley. Lives at the Evangelical church on rue de Lille. Frequents Patrick Henry Bruce.

1907 – Travels to London, Holland and Brussels before returning to New York.

1908 – In New York works as commercial artist and paints on his free time. Following the principles of Robert Henri he switches to typically modern American subjects: trains, boats, bars and theaters. Exhibits his paintings for the first time at the Old harmonic Club with Bellows and Pène du Bois among others.

1909 – Second visit to Paris from March to August, where he stays in the Latin quarter. He frequents the American artists Patrick Henry Bruce, Oliver N. Chaffee and Walter Pach. He paints outdoors notably on the quays of the Seine.

1910 – Travels to Paris and Spain.

1912 – Exhibits at the McDowell Club in New York and paints in Gloucester, Massachusetts in the  summer.

1913 – Hopper’s first sale : Sailing. Beginning of an account book he will hold all his life. Death of is father in Nyack. Hopper moves to Greenwich Village where he will live and work for the rest of his life.

1914 – Meets a young teacher, Josephine Verstille Nivison in a boarding house in Ogunquit, Maine in the summer, though their friendship only develops later.

1915 – Begins making prints until 1923. His major painting of this period, Soir Bleu inspired by a Rimbaud poem is ignored by critics. He gradually abandons French subjects.

1916 – Begins spending his summers in Maine, on Mohegan Island.

1917 - Hopper studies prints in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He admires most particularly the work of Goya and Charles Méryon a 19c French engraver of cityscapes.

1920 – First solo show at the Whitney Studio Club, where he exhibits 16 paintings, 11 from his Paris stay. Nothing sells and Hopper remains dependent for his livelihood on his illustration work. His prints are more successful and mentioned in the press.

1923 – Puts a stop to printmaking (he will briefly return to the medium in 1928 when he makes a drypoint of Jo) and takes up watercolor. The Brooklyn Museum purchases The Mansard Roof for $ 100.

1924 – Hopper marries Josephine Verstille Nivison in an Evangelical church on West Sixteenth Street. Guy Pène du Bois is his best man. Spends summer in Gloucester.

1925 – The print Night Shadows (1921) is bought by the British Museum in London. The Metropolitan Museum of Art buys 15 prints. Thanks to these and other sales Hopper can give up commercial illustration. Paints House by the Railroad, often claimed as his first mature work (it will later inspire the house in Hitchcock’s “Psycho”). Visits the West, New Mexico and Colorado in the summer.

1926 – One of his most prolific years (he will paint 100 paintings between 1924 and 1966).

1927 – Buys his first car. Summer in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

1928 – Paints From Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan Bridge Loop.

1929 – Solo show at Rhen gallery.

1930 – The collector Stephen C. Clark donates House by the Railroad (1925) to the Museum of Modern Art of New York, making Hopper the first artist of the permanent collection of the new museum. He paints Early Sunday Morning, originally titled Seventh Avenue Shops. Early Sunday Morning is purchased by Juliana Force for the new Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Hopper finishes his self portrait begun in 1925.

1931 - Paints Hotel Room, in which a lonely figure on a bed reads a train time table. Guy Pène du Bois writes a monograph on his work. Summers in South Truro, Mass.

1932 – Exhibits in his firs Whitney biennial (will do so in virtually every annual and biennial until his death).

1933 – Jo begins her private journal in which she writes about her life with Hopper and his creative process. First retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hopper is the 3rd American artist to be shown artist after Max Weber and Maurice Sterne.

1934 – Retrospective at the Arts Club in Chicago. Finishes building house in South Truro in which he will vacation for the rest of his life.

1935 - Hopper paints House at Dusk. He receives the Temple Gold Medal from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

1939 – In the summer he paints Cape Cod Evening et Ground Swell. This and other works seem to announce the impending war and doom in Europe.

1940 - Hopper reads the French critic and writer Paul Valéry. He paints Office at Night, inspired by views from his night journeys on the subway.

1941 – Summer drive to the Pacific and back via the Rockies.

1942 - A restaurant on Greenwich Avenue, Vincent Van Gogh’s “Night Café”, the gangster movies of the 1930’s as well as Hemingway’s 1927 tale, “The Killers”, inspire his celebrated painting Nighthawks.

1943 - Hopper paints Hotel Lobby and Summertime. The Museum of Modern Art buys Gas. Visits Mexico.

1945 – Elected member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

1949 - Hopper paints a Broadway apartment scene reminiscent of Hollywood gangster movies, Conference at Night. The collector Stephen Clark who initially bought the painting at the Rehn Gallery, returns it suspecting it represents a Communist plot.

1950 – Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art organized by Lloyd Goodrich. Hospitalized Hopper cannot attend the opening. The show moves to the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston and Detroit.

1951 – New visit to Mexico.

1952 – One of 4 American artists sent to the Venice Biennale.

1955 – Receives gold medal of the National Institute of Arts and Letters for his work.

1960 – Show at Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Conn.

1962 - Hopper paints New York Office.

1963 – He paints Sun in an Empty Room.

1964 – Major retrospective at Whitney Museum of American Art moves on to Chicago.

1965 - Hopper paints his last painting Two Comedians. Retrospective exhibitions in Detroit and St Louis.

1966 - Edward and Jo Hopper are both hospitalized for long periods.

1967 - 15 May: Hopper dies at the age of 84 in his studio on Washington Square in Greenwich Village.

1970 – His heirs bequeath a great number of his works, archives and sketchbooks to the Whitney Museum of American Art.






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