A Look At Edward Hopper's New York House And Studio

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper 1942 | © The Art Institute of Chicago/WikiCommons
Nighthawks by Edward Hopper 1942 | © The Art Institute of Chicago/WikiCommons
Photo of Patricia Contino
2 November 2016

Does identity define space, or does space create identity? American Realist painter and printer Edward Hopper’s (1882-1967) answer to this question was to blend light with light’s absence to create shadow and depth in strange and wonderful ways. His paintings have an astounding stillness that speaks volumes. Hopper’s work is easily recognizable and unmistakably Americana, depicting diners, gas stations, and NYC storefronts. From big retrospectives to the $40.5 million auction sale of East Wind Over Weehawken in 2013, Hopper’s reputation is longstanding. Born in Nyack in the Hudson River Valley, we take a closer look at this iconic artist’s home and studio.

Edward Hopper’s work can be gazed upon all over New York City and throughout the ti-state area, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Hartford’s Wadsworth Athenaeum, the Princeton University Gallery, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the MoMA. But two places are particularly integral to understanding his work: his Westchester County childhood home and his New York City studio.

The House by the Railroad by Edward Hopper 1925 | © WikiCommons

Hopper was born in Nyack in the Hudson River Valley. The two-floor house that his grandfather built in 1858 resembles many of those he went on to paint. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is among several picturesque homes on a quiet, residential street. In addition to special exhibits by artists other than Hopper, the Edward Hopper House Art Center sponsors a residency program allowing artists to live in his parents’ and sister Marion’s bedrooms.

Several of Hopper’s earliest works are displayed on the first floor, including watercolors of sailboats, a drawing on the back of his report card, and sketches of soldiers on the flip side of church raffle tickets. Personal items include his bicycle, paint box, and a large paint brush (six-foot, five-inch Hopper reached six feet by adolescence). Also of interest is a wall of side-by-side comparisons between Hopper’s landscapes and buildings, with Charles Sternaimolo’s photographs of their current condition.

Edward Hopper – Blackhead, Monhegan | © WikiCommons

The windows of Hopper’s second-floor bedroom face the Hudson River, a short walk from the house. Even with the hellish traffic caused by the upgrading of the Tappan Zee Bridge (an eyesore under normal circumstances), it is not hard understanding Hopper’s earliest inspiration. In the center of the room sits the Center’s most recent acquisition: a large table that Hopper made himself. A New York University staff member rescued the table from the trash outside of Hopper’s studio following the death of his wife, Josephine, in 1968. Tables weren’t the only things that Hopper built.

Edward and Josephine Nivison Hopper lived at 3 Washington Square North (also known as ‘The Row‘) from 1913 until their deaths, nine months apart. The studio is located on the fourth floor of the third of 13 connected townhouses with strong political and literary ties to Old New York. Home to New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, (NYU bought The Row in 1949 but allowed the couple to stay), the Hoppers’ workspace is preserved alongside unobtrusive offices and study areas, promoting a healthy respect for the past, present, and future.

Edward Hopper – A Woman in the Sun (1961) | © WikiCommons

The studio emphasizes the working aspect of Hopper’s career, with his printing press, model’s pedestal, and canvas dryer prominently displayed. There is a special easel that Hopper built to accommodate his large frame. As in his Nyack bedroom, the front window provides a panoramic view, this time of Washington Square Park. On a sunny day, the two large, uncluttered, functional rooms feel like a real-life Hopper painting. It’s easy to imagine the creative life that he and his wife lived.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"