Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another Crazy Dream

Edward Hopper, the American Realist painter and printmaker, has (in my mind) an odd piece in his oeuvre of work. Entitled Boy and Moon, it is an undated pen and ink and watercolor drawing in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art.  

To me, this looks amazingly like Little Nemo, by Winsor McCay, having another crazy dream. I know nothing about Hopper's motivation for this image, and maybe he meant it as an homage, or maybe it is pure coincidence. Hopper would have been 23 when Little Nemo was first published. I'm curious how old he was when he did this drawing.

Edward Hopper—Boy and Moon, no date

Winsor McCay—Little Nemo, 1905


AndroidVision said...

Hopper had no kids, so, I think, he may became interested in McCay's work as basis for commercial illustration (after all McCay was one of the best). We don't know how this piece came to life - maybe it was commisioned to illustrate text about McCay himself? If not, it shows that idea is amazing to him - image of room translating into outside view is stunning. Anyway, those pieces which are available on the Net show some similarities in style to McCay's panels:
Also following link says that from 1924 he practically stopped doing illustrations, so we can guess that it was drawn in period when Nemo still was news:

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Thanks for the input.

Anonymous said...

I believe the date is listed as "1906-07 or 1909" as recorded in Gail levin's book, "Edward Hopper: A cataloogue Raisonne"

Anonymous said...

Also, Edward's bedroom window looked out over a view of the Hudson River (Nyack, NY home). The body of water illustration seems to be more a river with a far side(Tarrytown, NY).
Paintings of Edward's bedroom seem to show a similar bed, as well.

In 1906-1909, Edward would have been 24-27 ... and in the first years as a paid illustrator.