Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967) was an extremely influential artist who was best known for his Realist oil paintings and watercolors of urban and rural scenes. Hopper was born in Nyack, NY, and began his formal education in art in 1899 through a series of correspondence courses. After his father urged him to obtain more formal education, he transferred to the New York Institute of Art and Design in 1900. There he studied under William Merritt Chase (American, 1849–1916) and Robert Henri (American, 1865–1929), both of whom influenced his subsequent career, working with oil and painting Realist scenes of everyday life. Upon completion of his education in 1905, Hopper landed a part-time job with an advertising agency designing covers for trade magazines. Hopper detested illustration work; however, due to the need to support himself financially, he continued in this capacity until 1923.

Hopper sold his first painting, Sailing (1911), in 1913 at the age of 31. His hope that this would be the beginning of a full-time career as an independent artist did not materialize for several more years, throughout which he continued to do illustration work in several different industries. In 1923, he met his future wife and fellow painter Josephine Nivison (American, 1883–1968) in Gloucester, MA. Nivison retired from her own career as a painter to assist Hopper in promoting his career. This led to six of his watercolor paintings being included in an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. One of them, The Mansard Roof (1923), was sold to the museum’s permanent collection. The following commercial exposure and the positive critical review resulted in the sale of all of his watercolors the next year. This allowed him to finally retire from illustration work and concentrate solely on painting.

Until his death in 1967, Hopper produced thousands of works, including his most famous painting, Nighthawks (1942), which was a prime example of his Realist style of painting scenes based on everyday life. Other notable pieces by Hopper include Early Sunday Morning (1930), Girl at Sewing Machine (1921), and Chop Suey (1929). All have been hailed as prime examples of modern American Realist painting.

Timeline

1882
Born: July 22, Nyack, New York
1899–1900
Studied illustration at the Correspondence School of Illustrating, NY
1905
Employed as an illustrator by C. C. Phillips & Company, a New York advertising agency
1900–1906
Studied painting at the New York School of Art under Robert Henri
1907
Participated in his first exhibition, organised by fifteen of Robert Henri’s students in the old Harmonie Club building, New York
1923
Began to paint with watercolours, Awarded prizes for etching in exhibitions in Chicago and Los Angeles
1915–1924
Learned to etch and concentrates on printmaking
1935
Awarded Temple Gold Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the First Purchase Prize in watercolour, Worchester Art
1945
Awarded Logan Art Institute Medal and Honorarium, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1950
Awarded honorary degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, by the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1953
Awarded Honorary degree, Doctor of Letters, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
1955
Gold Medal for Painting presented by the National Institute of Arts and Letters in the name of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
1956
Awarded Huntington Hartford Foundation fellowship
1960
Received Art in America Annual Award
1963
Received award from the St Botolph Club, Boston, MA
1964
Awarded M. V. Khonstamn Prize for Painting, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1965
Awarded honorary degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia, PA
1966
Awarded Edward MacDowell Medal
1967
Died: May 15, New York, NY

Exhibitions

2008
Edward Hopper, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2007
Edward Hopper, The Natinoal Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
2005
At the window - etchings by Edward Hopper, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
2004
Edward Hopper, Tate Modern, London, England
2003
Edward Hopper - the Paris Years, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
2002
Edward Hopper and Urban Realism, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL
2000
Edward Hopper, Bunkamura, Tokyo, Japan
1979
Edward Hopper: Prints and Illustrations, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (solo)
1969
Edward Hopper: Retrospective, Detroit Institute of Arts and City Art Museum, St Louis, MO (solo)
1964
Edward Hopper: Retrospective,Whitney Museum of American Art and Art Institute of Chicago (solo)
1963
Edward Hopper: Retrospective, Arizona Art Gallery, South Truro, MA (solo)
1962
The Complete Graphic Work of Edward Hopper, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
1959
Currier Gallery of Art, Rhode Island School of Design and Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT (solo)
1952
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1950
Edward Hopper: Retrospective, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Detroit Institute of Arts (solo)
1933
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
1929
Paintings by Nineteen Living Americans, MoMA, New York, NY
1925
Pennsylvania Academy, Philadelphia, PA
1924
Rehn Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1923
Humorist’s Exhibition, National Arts Club, New York, NY
1920
Whitney Studio Club, New York, NY (solo)
1913
Armory Show, New York, NY
1907
Participated in his first exhibition, Harmonie Club building, New York, NY