Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Edward Hopper conducted 17 June 1959, by John D. Morse, for the Archives of American Art.
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.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Edward Hopper, 1959 June 17. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Edward Hopper, (b. 1882; d. 1967), painter of New York, N.Y.
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.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001