About the Author

I am a writer and researcher (aka “independent scholar”), retired from a long career as an editor and administrator for nonprofit organizations. You can find my name listed in the acknowledgments of many books by other writers, but Edward Hopper in Vermont is my first book as a sole author.

I have a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College in New York City, where I first learned to love fine art in general and Edward Hopper in particular.  But with only a single course in art history, and graduate study in other areas, I can make no claim of expertise. What, then, led me to write about Hopper in Vermont?  Two simple things: time and opportunity.

The Herald: Week in Photos 11/08/2012 &emdash;
Mike and Bonnie in North Royalton, at the site of Hopper’s Route 14, Vermont.
Photo by Bob Eddy.

Opportunity came when Mike Hogan and I built our home in South Royalton. Serendipitously, we found a reproduction of Hopper’s Barn and Silo, Vermont. We then learned that Edward Hopper had been in “our town” during the summers of 1937 and ’38, staying on a farm just down the road from us. Moreover, he had painted watercolor landscapes of the White River, scenes that we saw every day on our drive into town to pick up the mail. This was a story waiting to be told. It had been given scant attention by art historians–despite the plethora of books about Hopper–and those with whom I spoke seemed uninterested in pursuing it beyond the basic documentation that Gail Levin had published in her biography of Hopper and the Catalogue Raisonné. More important, Hopper’s Vermont works remained virtually unknown in the place where they were made, even among those Vermonters who, like many Americans, had reproductions of Hopper’s more famous paintings hanging on their walls.

Retirement has given me the luxury of time: time to spend in libraries and archives and in the virtual vaults of the web, searching for answers to my questions about Hopper’s life as an artist and his sojourns in Vermont; time to read what others have written about Hopper, about American art in the 1920s and ’30s, and about Vermont during the Depression; time to sift through all my finds and to follow leads in new directions; time for Mike and me to explore the White River Valley in search of Hopper’s places; and, finally, time to indulge in the joy of writing, weaving what I’ve found and learned into the stories that make up my book.

And there are more stories to tell. Some are in the book, summarized in footnotes and begging to be expanded. Others aren’t in the book at all, and I still want to write them.  Watch this space.

– Bonnie Tocher Clause

The Herald: Week in Photos 11/08/2012 &emdash;
Mike and Bonnie, with Bob Slater’s Hill in the background. Photo by Bob Eddy.

 

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. I look forward to pre-ordering this wonderful new book. The blog is fine idea for future Hopper and/or Vermont stories. I think you’d be a perfect candidate for WHYY’s “Coming of Age,” program, and am going to send a note and this link to Therese Madden (producer) over there. Brava! Thank you for showing us another view of an artist everyone thinks ubiquitous and what he was looking at.

  2. Oh Bonnie,

    congratulations. It’s just the best site. As you may remember, I love Hopper and am so thrilled for you.

    Hope to see you in the spring and it would be great if we could meet outside of the office first and then visit after lunch.

    Keep me posted and best to you,

    Mary Ellen

    • Thanks, Kristina! I just found your web site and listened to some of your music; very fine tunes! I hope one of Hopper’s White River watercolors will inspire a song. Some call them “lyrical,” so maybe you can provide the lyrics. Do go to Middlebury to see the originals, if you haven’t already.

  3. What a wonderful undertaking, Bonnie. I loved all on this site and can hardly wait to see you again and read your masterpiece. Aloha

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