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Self-Portrait, 1919-1923
Edward Hopper, American
Plate: 6 x 4 inches (15.2 x 10.2 cm) Sheet: 7 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches (18.4 x 13.3 cm)
Gift of Carl Zigrosser, 1962
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Edward Hopper

American, 1882 - 1967

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Hopper as Printmaker

Edward Hopper (1882-1967), best known for his paintings that capture moments of reverie and contemplation, was also highly accomplished as a printmaker. Many of the signature subjects of the artist's mature style, such as the isolated figure by a window and other intimate glimpses of contemporary American life can be traced through their evolution in his prints.

Hopper taught himself how to make etchings in New York City in 1915. For the next ten years--a crucial decade in the artist's creative development--he devoted much of his attention to printmaking before concentrating fully on painting in the mid-1920s. Hopper's prints reveal the unfolding development of his personal artistic vocabulary and vision. The Museum's collection constitutes one of the most complete holdings of Hopper's prints.

Hopper grew up in Nyack, New York, a small town on the Hudson River. After graduating from high school, the budding artist embarked on a profitable career as a commercial illustrator in Manhattan, studying at the New York School of Art under Robert Henri and Kenneth Hayes Miller, and supplying illustrations for Scribner's, Adventure, and other popular magazines.

Making etchings offered Hopper an escape from the commercial work that earned him his living, and it was as a printmaker that he won his first successes as a fine artist. At the core of Hopper's output as an etcher are twenty-six published prints, all in the Museum's collection, many of them accompanied by sets of progressive proofs that document the artist's working method.

At the Window: Etchings by Edward Hopper, 2005.

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