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Edward Hopper (American, 1882-1967)


Birth Place: Nyack (Rockland county, New York state, United States)

Edward Hopper was born in 1882 in the village of Nyack, New York. He showed artistic talent early on, and he had a long art career that evolved several times and eventually resulted in work that is some of the most well known in the 20th century.

In 1899, Hopper took courses from the New York School of Illustration. He then transferred to the New York School of Art and studied under Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase, the instructor that introduced Hopper to oil painting, the medium for which he would become the most famous. Hopper then went to Europe in 1906 to study works by Manet, Degas, and Rembrandt.

Upon completion of his study in Europe, Hopper moved to New York City, where he reluctantly continued illustrating to support himself. Struggling to find his own artistic style, Hopper visited Massachusetts, and painted what would be the first of his many landscapes. At the age of 31, Hopper sold his first painting, but success did not follow. Putting his painting aside temporarily, Hopper began producing etchings. It was with these etchings that he began to make a name for himself in the art world.

The 1920s was a decade of evolving styles for Hopper. In 1923, Hopper received the Logan Prize and the W.A. Bryan Prize for his etchings. Hopper also returned to oil painting and displayed his work at the Whitney Studio Club, which would become the famed Whitney Museum. Josephine Nivison, Hopper’s new wife, also encouraged her husband to try watercolors. Hopper turned out several seascape and lighthouse paintings, which were put on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. By 1924, Hopper began to receive the acclaim he had been seeking.

Hopper completed his most famous painting, "Nighthawks," in 1942. By this time, he had fine-tuned his style focusing on solitary figures and the distinctive use of light. Hopper continued to work through the early 1960s until his health began to fail. He passed away in 1967 and is buried in his hometown of Nyack.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston owns the famous "Nighthawks" painting. The Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, both in New York City, and the Art Institute of Chicago also hold several of Hopper's works.

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