Myths & Legends
stories of Edward Hopper as remembered by his Hometown
Our Myths & Legends storybank is a documentation of local histories, memories, and fascinations of community members from Nyack, NY. Through the collection of these stories, we exchange information between our museum and the public, offering an opportunity for us to create a shared history of Edward Hopper and his hometown.
Ursula D'Auria serves as a member of Edward Hopper House's Visitor Services through which she regularly speaks with the public about Hopper's life and the history of Nyack. As a Nyack native, Ursula has championed historic preservation in the village for decades.
ArtHur H. Gunther
Art Gunther is a retired editor of the Editorial Pages, columnist and staff photographer of the original Journal-News in Rockland County, New York, where he served with the newspaper for 42 years. He began his career in 1964, first in the mailroom and then in the 53 Hudson St., Nyack, newsroom, eventually working his way through various positions. Gunther wrote more than 6,000 pieces for the newspaper, including about 2,500 weekly columns. In 2006, a collection of those essays was published by The Historical Society of Rockland under the title, “The Column Rule.” As a newspaper photographer, he took more than 8,000 pictures. In retirement, he produces and exhibits abstract/primitive paintings at various galleries and art centers. He also publishes a weekly essay at thecolumnrule.com. A third-generation Rocklander, he was named literary and visual artist of the year in Rockland, 2005 and 2010, respectively. Gunther is a former trustee of the Edward Hopper House in Nyack and serves on the Rockland County Historic Preservation Board as well as in the volunteer Rockland Breakfast Program as Tuesday chief cook.
WINSTon "WIN" C. Perry
Win Perry is a local historian, with particular interest in the Dutch Colonial culture found in the Nyacks and the history of the Hopper family. He was the President of the Historical Society of the Nyacks and former President of Edward Hopper Landmark Preservation Foundation. A retired architect and a singular community advocate, Perry was a leader in the rehabilitation of the Edward Hopper House in the early 1970's. Perry was instrumental in founding Head Start of Nyack and rehabilitating the John Green house. The house that Edward Hopper used as a model for his painting, Seven A.M., may be seen from Perry's front porch.
Joan Dye Gussow
Born in 1928 in Alhambra, California, Joan Dye Gussow grew up in a California landscape dominated by clear skies, orange groves, peach orchards and lines of eucalyptus trees. She graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California in 1950, with a BA (pre-medical) and moved east to New York City. Gussow spent seven years as a researcher at Time Magazine and five years as a suburban wife and mother. After becoming a researcher at Yeshiva’s Graduate School of Education, she returned to school in 1969 to earn an M.Ed and an Ed. D. in Nutrition Education from Columbia’s Teachers College. Shortly after graduating, she was hired by Teachers College to become the chair of the nutrition department, creating the legendary course, Nutritional Ecology. In 1971, she testified in front of a Congressional Committee about the poor quality of the foods advertised to children on television. Her testimony was also published in the Journal of Nutrition Education scandalizing significant portions of her chosen profession. (Here is a video of Joan speaking on organic life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRFjtLyI22U) In 1956, she married Alan Gussow (1931–1997). He was awarded the Prix de Rome at only 21 years old. He was the youngest ever to have won the award at that time. By the time he left New York to study at the American Academy in Rome from 1953 to 1955, Gussow had learned printmaking from Stanley William Hayter, and was already heavily influenced by Paul Klee, Arshile Gorky, and Stuart Davis.