A quintessential American realist, Hopper painted a repertoire of subjects ranging from the lighthouses and Victorian manses of the New England coast to the movie houses, offices, cafeterias, and highways of New York City. Hopper was associated with the Ash Can artists early in his career; he studied with Robert Henri at the New York School of Art from 1900 to 1906 and greatly admired John Sloan's etchings of New York City. In the 1920s he achieved recognition with his architectural paintings in which light is used dramatically to characterize his subjects. Whether depicting daylight scenes or nocturnal environments, his paintings have an introspective, contemplative aura that is enhanced by his frequent use of solitary figures set against blank walls. Mood was as important to Hopper as subject, as the statement he wrote for the catalogue of his 1933 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art makes clear: "My aim in painting has always been the most exact transcription possible of my most intimate impressions of nature."
Virginia M. Mecklenburg Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1987)
Edward Hopper started his career as an illustrator, but soon switched to painting and studied with the artist Robert Henri at the New York School of Art. He made three trips to