At PAFA in Philadelphia, April 30: Edward Hopper’s Vermont

I’m delighted to announce that next Wednesday, April 30, I’ll be giving a presentation on Edward Hopper’s Vermont watercolors in Philadelphia, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  PAFA is the oldest art museum and school in the nation, and it’s a great honor to be invited to speak there, in the Historic Landmark Building designed by renowned architects Frank Furness and George W. Hewitt.  All details about my talk are given below and on the PAFA web site.

There are strong connections between the Academy and Edward Hopper.  His work was shown in PAFA’s annual exhibitions nearly every year between 1922 and the early 1950s. Further, five of the Vermont watercolors — rarely exhibited anywhere — were shown at PAFA between 1939 and 1941, in the Annual Philadelphia Water Color Exhibitions.  In 1925 PAFA was the first museum to purchase a Hopper oil painting, Apartment Houses (1923), which it still owns. (A second Hopper oil, East Wind Over Weehawken, purchased in 1952, was sold by PAFA last December…but that’s another story.) 

As reported in Gail Levin’s Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography, Josephine Nivison Hopper was also recognized by the Academy, albeit fleetingly.  In 1938 her painting of Cape Cod Hills (or Sandy Hills) was included in PAFA’s Annual Exhibition, a rare public acknowledgement of her talent that was doubled by the presence in the same show of Edward’s oil, Jo Painting

This Friday, in preparing for my talk, I’m visiting PAFA’s archives for the first time.  I hope to find a few more details about the Hoppers’ connections with this venerable Philadelphia institution, and if so, I’ll include them in my talk.  All are welcome — and it’s free!

Wednesday 30 April 2014
12:00 p.m.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts / Art at Lunch
Edward Hopper as Plein Air Painter: Watercolors of Vermont, 1927-38

Edward Hopper is often characterized as the quintessential painter of urban scenes. In contrast, Hopper’s watercolors—made outdoors during summers spent away from the city—reveal other aspects of the artist’s talents and persona. Bonnie Tocher Clause, author of Edward Hopper in Vermont, shows slides of drawings and watercolors Hopper created during visits to the rural White River Valley in the 1930s. These works were last seen at PAFA seven decades ago, when they were among Hopper’s submissions to the Annual Philadelphia Water Color and Print Exhibitions in 1939-41.

Location: Hamilton Auditorium in PAFA’s Historic Landmark building
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA
  *Free; no reservation required.*
Information: or 215-972-2022