Warren Dunn

Hop on Over to Reynolda House Museum of American Art

Couldn’t resist.  You know, Hop on over to see a Hopper.  Edward Hopper and a host of his kith and kin.   And while you’re there, visit works of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and a bunch of other lesser known but equally talented American artists in the current exhibit at Reynolda House Museum of American Art.   Carole and I have been to every special exhibit at Reynolda in the last six years and they’ve all been excellent, but this one is my favorite because Hopper is my favorite American artist.   And there are two Hopper’s in the exhibit!   Most museums are happy if they own one.  It closes May 12, so better hustle.

So fond am I of Hopper that I have been copying him for years and was so glad to see one of his works I hadn’t seen, which is supposedly a landscape of the area near his home on Cape Cod, ostensibly near Truro, entitled “The Camel’s Hump,” painted in 1931, according to the exhibit notice on Internet.  Anyway, it doesn’t appear in any of the seven books on Hopper I have, except perhaps in my pride and joy, the Abrams coffee table edition, which is too difficult to pull out of the bookcase.   So I was thrilled to see this perfect example of Hopper’s control of color and brush in creating the painting on exhibit at Reynolda House.  Thrilled enough to try to copy it, which is what you see above.  My hope is that you will go and see the real thing if you haven’t and then understand why when someone says after looking at a painting, “I could do that!” they really can’t.  If I could just capture the tone of his colors and the atmosphere of a place,  whether it is urban or rural,  I would go to bed content.   By the way , I have heard for so many years that Hopper painted lonely people in out of the way places.   My impression is that he paints strong people doing whatever they want or have to.  They’re alone, not necessarily lonely.   But it is nuanced.  And that’s the power of his work.

By the way #2, it’s not polite and even illegal to copy the work of an artist and show it publicly without giving credit, not signing the work,  adjusting its size and content, and asking permission unless they have passed into the public domain fifty years after death.   Well, no one is going to mistake my copy for a Hopper, so I have little to worry about in that regard.  Also, Edward Hopper entered public domain in 2018, so I’m in the clear.


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