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Fri Nov 22, 2019, 09:56 AM

What's Better Than Seeing a Hopper Painting? Sleeping in One

Every detail of Edward Hopper’s “Western Motel” has been brought to life at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where you can spend the night.



RICHMOND, Va. — Behind a pane of glass at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a wooden bed frame anchors a sparsely decorated motel room. Vintage suitcases have been arranged at the foot of the bed, and light streams in diagonally through a window, just beyond which a green Buick is visible, parked in the foreground of a mesa landscape.

It looks like the setting of a painting, and it is. Every detail here was inspired by Edward Hopper’s 1957 painting “Western Motel,” which has been brought to vibrant, three-dimensional life. The only thing missing is the mysterious woman whose burgundy dress matches the bedspread. But that’s where the museum guest comes in.

I was the second person to stay in the museum’s Hopper hotel room, essentially becoming its subject for a night. (Before it sold out through February, the room cost anywhere from $150 a night to $500 for a package, including dinner, mini golf and a tour with the curator.) My time there was short — a standard stay runs from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. — and awkward. I had traveled all day to reach Richmond, and these pristinely basic quarters were the main event. Ultimately, it reminded me of every other hotel room I’ve ever stayed in.

Ellen Chapman, a Richmond resident who stayed the night before I did, was more focused on the novelty of an art overnight. “I’ve always had that childhood fantasy of spending the night in a museum,” she said. “The remarkable part for me was waking up, drinking my coffee and looking at this amazing exhibit right next to me.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/21/arts/design/edward-hopper-virginia-museum.html

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Reply What's Better Than Seeing a Hopper Painting? Sleeping in One (Original post)
demmiblue Nov 22 OP
madaboutharry Nov 22 #1
Aristus Nov 22 #2
madaboutharry Nov 22 #3
Aristus Nov 22 #4
madaboutharry Nov 22 #7
Aristus Nov 22 #8
madaboutharry Nov 22 #9
Aristus Nov 22 #10
madaboutharry Nov 22 #11
Aristus Nov 22 #12
ChazInAz Nov 22 #5
Aristus Nov 22 #6

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 10:02 AM

1. Edward Hopper is one of my most favorite painters.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 11:13 AM

2. Mine, too.


Office In A Small City - Edward Hopper

This is my favorite of his paintings. I'm not sure I can tell you why. The back-story to the image could be almost anything. But a book I owned as a child on the subject of art appreciation interpreted it to mean that even adults with responsibilities daydream now and then. It was a simple, and yet profound message.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 11:21 AM

3. My favorite is

Automat

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 11:40 AM

4. I like that one, too.

So many of his painting seem to be about loneliness and human isolation, in both urban and rural settings. Automat is a particularly depressing image of urban alienation.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 02:47 PM

7. This painting really speaks to me.

I have seen the original and it has always been special for me.

I have a print of Automat in my home office and a print of Chop Suey over my bed.


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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 02:48 PM

8. What is it about the painting that is special and speaks to you?

n/t

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Response to Aristus (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 02:59 PM

9. I think it is because life is like this so much of the time.

I think we are to some degree always alone. But it is also that the woman in Automat seems content or at least peaceful. At least to me she does.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 03:03 PM

10. Interesting. I get the exact opposite impression.

The word that always occurs to me is 'disconsolate.'

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Response to Aristus (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 03:13 PM

11. That is the beauty of art.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 06:02 PM

12. I agree.


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Response to Aristus (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 11:48 AM

5. This painting has always intrigued me.

The buildings in the foreground and background have the typical stark Hopper look.
Yet the interior of the foreground office and the mid-ground buildings share the same color palette and sense of architectural detail. There is so much going on in this painting.

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Response to ChazInAz (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 11:51 AM

6. A book I have on critiques of his painting point out the notable differences in the

architecture of the buildings on the foreground and those in the background across the street from the office building.

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