This is the catalog for a recent terrific exhibit (now closed) at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester. The summers Hopper spent in Gloucester were pivotal both in his professional and personal life and it’s fascinating to follow his development as an artist where many of the subjects of his work still exist in our backyard.
A fresh look at one of America’s best-known and beloved artists at a pivotal but little-known moment in his life that profoundly shaped both his art and career.
Edward Hopper & Cape Ann tells the largely ignored but significant origin story of Edward Hopper’s years in and around Gloucester, Massachusetts—a period and place that imbued Hopper’s paintings with a clarity and purpose that had eluded his earlier work. This volume focuses on summers Hopper spent there in the 1920s, starting in 1923, when he first embraced watercolor during outdoor painting excursions on Cape Ann and discovered one of his favorite subjects: houses and vernacular architecture. The success of Hopper’s Gloucester watercolors transformed his work in all media and set the stage for his monumental career.
Accompanying a major retrospective at the Cape Ann Museum, including an unprecedented loan of twenty-eight works from the Whitney Museum of American Art, this highly readable and beautifully illustrated volume reveals in great depth the lesser-known story about the influence of a young painter, Josephine Nivison, who became not only Hopper’s wife but also the most trusted force underlying his artistic confidence. Here she is recast as principal producer of Hopper’s distinctive style and his “brand” visionary from the time of their courtship until his death in 1967.
About the Author
Elliot Bostwick Davis is a former curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the John Moors Cabot Chair at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and director of the Norton Museum. She has published extensively on American art, including Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Mary Cassatt, and Jamie Wyeth, as well as on African American artists.
"A lavishly produced catalogue, the text thoroughly researched and beautifully written by Elliot Bostwick Davis (a former head of American art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). If you can’t go, the book will do nicely. But the show is worth traveling to see." —The Washington Post
"This once-in-a-generation exhibition, and the accompanying 224-page catalog being published by Rizzoli Electa, are curated by nationally recognized curator and former museum director Elliot Bostwick Davis, PhD. 'Despite painting in Gloucester in 1912 and in Maine for six more summers, Hopper initially struggled to find a distinctive artistic voice,' writes Davis. 'Hopper understood that Gloucester, familiar from his earlier trip in 1912, was perhaps his last chance to make a name for himself as a painter at the age of 41. By 1923, he was supporting himself as an illustrator and etcher; his only painting sale had occurred over a decade earlier.'" —AUCTION CENTRAL NEWS