Using the Amon Carter’s collection of American art and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Picturing America project, explore masterworks of American art and the artists who made them while discussing how these works connect American culture and history.

This project is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

National Endowment for the Humanities Picturing America Program Participant

Artist Biography

Edward Hopper (1882–1967) was raised in a town on the Hudson River, where he developed an enduring love of nautical life. When he graduated from high school in 1899, his parents, supportive of his artistic aspirations, implored him to study commercial illustration rather than pursue an economically uncertain career in fine art. After a short time studying illustration, he turned to painting and drawing and began taking portrait and still-life classes from William Merritt Chase (1849–1916). Hopper worked as an illustrator in New York but spent his summers painting in rural New England. Beginning in 1930, Hopper and his wife spent their summers painting in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where they built their own home in 1934. During the early 1930s, Hopper found ample subject matter for both his oils and watercolors in Cape Cod. Once the area became too familiar, he was prompted to drive further afield. He traveled from Vermont to Mexico in search of inspiration. A feeling of loneliness and detachment pervaded Hopper’s works in the second half of his career. The harsh realism of his style was underscored by his preference for bright, shadow-casting light or the strange luminosity of dusk combined with artificial light.