The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, (200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond, VA 23220) presents the premiere of Edward Hopper and the American Hotel, the first in-depth study of hospitality settings depicted in the works of one of the most celebrated American artists, on view through Feb. 23, 2020.
Edward Hopper (1882–1967) found artistic value and cultural significance in the most commonplace sites and settings. Hopper’s spare depictions of familiar public and private spaces are often understood within the contexts of isolation, loneliness, and ennui of early and mid-20th-century America. As this exhibition shows, however, Hopper’s immersion in the world of hotels, motels, hospitality services, and mobility in general presents a new framework for understanding the artist’s work.
Cost for the exhibition entry:
Tickets for the exhibition are now on sale and cost $16 for adults; $12 for seniors 65+; and $10 for youth 7-17 and college students with ID.
In addition to Commonwealth of Virginia employees, preschool and K–12 teachers (public and private), as well as active-duty military personnel and their immediate families, the exhibition is FREE for VMFA members, and children ages 6 and under, as well as active-duty military personnel and their immediate families.
FREE Events at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Related to the Edward Hopper Exhibit:
Nov 3, 2019 – Open Studio Plus Pajama Party! 1-4 pm. FREE
Special art activity and performances inspired by Edward Hopper and the American Hotel in the atrium and Art Education Center. *Kids dressed in their favorite pajamas will receive a free gift when they visit the studios. Open Studio Sunday is open to all ages; children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult and is held on the first Sunday of the month, 1 – 4 pm in the Art Education Center. No registration required. At Open Studio, children and their adult can participate in an art activity inspired by an object from the VMFA collection. A new art activity, led by VMFA Youth Studio Staff and volunteers, is offered every month. Select months will feature additional activities and events. Note: For groups of eight children or more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Edward Hopper and the American Hotel exhibition is well worth seeing because it is the only East Coast venue of the show which includes 65 paintings and works on paper by Hopper, along with 35 works by other artists including John Singer Sargent, David Hockney, Berenice Abbott, and others who explored similar themes. The exhibition also features Hopper’s early commercial work from two widely read hotel trade magazines of the period: Hotel Management and Tavern Topics. These cover illustrations set the stage for Hopper’s continuing interest and work in the field of hospitality services. Also on display are materials related to Hopper’s trips to Richmond, Virginia, such as when, in 1953, he stayed at the Jefferson Hotel while he served as a juror in VMFA’s biennial exhibition of contemporary works.
The paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs in the exhibition are accompanied by enlightening documents and ephemera that lend a fascinating immediacy. After Edward Hopper married Josephine “Jo” Nivison—an artist in her own right—in 1924, the two frequently took to the road in search of subject matter during the many years of their marriage. From their New York City apartment or their cottage in Cape Cod, they traveled across the country and into Mexico, with Jo documenting their trips in diaries, three of which will be displayed in the exhibition. The diaries contain Jo’s meticulous accounts describing the couple’s itinerary, lodging, and impressions of the many sites they visited. The exhibition also includes maps and postcards to illustrate the places and lodgings the couple encountered on their travels, picturing the details of their life on the road. These documents not only offer firsthand descriptions but also link directly to Edward’s later paintings, as the sites they visited often inspired elements in his composite scenes. Visitors will also have the opportunity to follow the Hoppers’ routes using a unique interactive touchscreen map, which will allow an exploration of the places the couple visited on three road trips from 1941 to 1953.
Edward Hopper and the American Hotel at VMFA is presented in galleries that include simulated spaces and other uniquely engaging design components. The tour de force of the experiential concept is a room that has been constructed adjacent to the exhibition space inspired by Hopper’s Western Motel setting. The room serves as a functional “hotel room” where guests may stay overnight by reserving a Hopper Hotel Experience package.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’s collections include European, American and Decorative art with notable traveling exhibitions. General admission is FREE 365 days a year (some special events may require a fee). As year-round participant of Blue Star Museums, VMFA provides FREE admission to special exhibitions for all active duty, National Guard, and Reserve military personnel and their immediate families. (Richmond)
Other FREE events at VMFA:
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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is located at: 200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond, VA 23220 – tel: 804.340.1400 – web: https://www.vmfa.museum/