Archives of American Art

Oral history interview with Edward Hopper

Collection ID:
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967
Morse, John D., 1906-
1959 June 17
Physical Description:
1 Sound tape reel
Sound recording
3 3/4 ips.
7 in.
12 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Edward Hopper conducted 17 June 1959, by John D. Morse, for the Archives of American Art.
Scope and Contents
This interview was conducted in the Board Room of the Whitney Museum. The interview begins with the reading of Mr. Hopper's 1933 "Notes on Painting" in which Hopper states that the aim of painting is to create the most exact transcription of the most intimate impression of nature. Mr. Hopper then speaks of his change of feelings since the publication of this statement; his realization that the return to nature which he had prophesied has not yet occurred; his move towards realism despite contemporary abstraction (citing Eakins similar position in the 17th century); techniques on canvas and use of zinc; his decision to avoid protective varnishes in the belief that it is the responsibility of the owner to keep the works preserved; his success as a subconscious result of his painting honestly; the belief that "Apartment Houses" crystallized his style from thenceforth. Mr. Hopper then reads a statement that was published in Reality magazine in 1953 in which Hopper posits that art is an outward expression of inner life. In an addendum, John Morse states that a ledger of all of Mr. Hopper's works, catalogue dates, and prices exists.Hopper reads from two statements on art written for other purposes. He also comments on the materials he uses, why he choses some of the subjects he does, and his predictions about the future of American art.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Edward Hopper, (b. 1882; d. 1967), painter of New York, N.Y.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Modern -- 20th century Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Realism Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting -- Technique Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001