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Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper's "Room in New York"

The idea for Room in New York had been on Edward Hopper’s mind long before he put brush to canvas. In 1935, he shared that “it was suggested by glimpses of lighted interiors seen as I walked along the city streets at night ... it is no particular street or house, but is rather a synthesis of many impressions.”

Perhaps the most famous painting in Sheldon’s collection, Room in New York was purchased shortly after it was completed. The work was first shown at the University of Nebraska in March 1936, as part of the forty-sixth annual painting exhibition of the Nebraska Art Association, now the Sheldon Art Association. Records of the acquisition, justify the purchase presciently: “[Hopper] will undoubtedly be regarded as [a] leader among American artists in future years.”

Edward Hopper
Nyack, NY 1882–New York, NY 1967
Room in New York
Oil on canvas, 1932
29 × 36 5/8 inches
Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Anna R. and Frank M. Hall Charitable Trust, H–166.1936

Art historian Leo Mazow gave insight to the work in “Edward Hopper’s ‘Hotel Consciousness,’” a 2019 lecture cosponsored by the School of Art, Art History & Design’s Hixson-Lied Visiting Artist & Scholar Lecture Series and Sheldon's CollectionTalk series. Mazow’s talk drew on his research for the book Edward Hopper and the American Hotel (2019, Yale University Press) and a similarly titled exhibition that opened in October 2019 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond. Room in New York and Town Square (Washington Square and Judson Tower), a charcoal drawing by Hopper also in Sheldon's collection, were loaned to the exhibition.