An Edward Hopper Scrapbook

Elizabeth "Betty" Benton reminisces about Hopper
Transcript from Paul Cummings' interview with Elizabeth "Betty" Benton

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Elizabeth "Betty" Benton: Well, when I was about ten, my father and mother felt that I had promise, artistic promise, and Eddy Hopper was giving lessons for the summer, and he had two or three other people. We would go on Saturday mornings. He started us out with plaster casts of heads and we did charcoal. He was a marvelous teacher because he didn't make you feel that you had to be an instant success, he showed you as we went along. Then he graduated us to a female form. And the female form was his mother. And she would bring us lemonade and cookies maybe halfway in between. As I say, she posed for us.

We finally got into oil and we did this scene. I completed a picture and I was allowed to take it home. But—after the picture was completed, Mother came to me one day and she said, "You won't be taking lessons any more." I felt very bad because I thoroughly enjoyed it, and she said, "I'm sorry to say, Sister, Mr. Hopper says that he feels that the money is being wasted because you are too silly." I don't know why he thought I was too silly, I don't remember. But I probably acted as a ten year old girl full of beans did, and it wasn't his cup of tea.

Audio clip from Paul Cummings' interview with Elizabeth "Betty" Benton, April 21, 1976, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.