Edward Hopper's enigmatic depictions of America are indelibly etched in the memory of those viewing his work. Born in New York in 1882, Hopper showed early interest in art, particularly drawing, and went on to study illustration and painting. With their emphasis on truthful, contemporary subjects, his teachers Robert Henri and Kenneth Hayes Miller at the New York School of Art were vital to Hopper's development as a realist. Hopper made three long visits to Paris between 1906 and 1910; yet, aside from admiring Impressionism, he was not attracted to modern art. Although he sold his first oil painting in the Armory Show in 1913, he continued to pursue commercial illustration as a career.
In 1920 Hopper had his first one-person exhibition at the Whitney Studio Club in New York, and in 1924 he sold all of his works from a solo show at another New York gallery. This success allowed him to dedicate himself to painting. By the late 1920s, Hopper developed his mature style, characterized by depictions of lonely urban and small town scenes in which there may be only a few silent, solitary figures. Often he shows only the drab architecture, devoid of human life. Hopper’s vision of the American scene was one of alienation and anxiety. His life and art were remarkably consistent: a very private person, he endowed the figures in his paintings with a similar sense of detachment. Hopper divided his time between a small apartment in New York’s Greenwich Village and trips to New England, continuing to synthesize and distill his observations of contemporary life into hauntingly familiar scenes. Hopper died in New York in 1967.