Museum and History Center recognized for innovative youth outreach and programming
The Edward Hopper House interprets the birthplace of the iconic American artist, Edward Hopper, and uses it as a lens to explores the themes and places that informed his life and his work. The Trustees Emeritus Award recognizes the site for its innovative and impactful community engagement initiatives, especially the Nighthawks Teen Leadership program, which leverages Hopper’s legacy to engage local youth as tour guides and general ambassadors of the museum while affording them opportunities to attend other cultural art organizations and participate in college prep activities.
“The Edward Hopper House is an exciting innovator in communicating how a sense of place and history is so integral to exploring an artist’s work and engaging modern, younger audiences in that exploration,” said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Its Nighthawks program, outreach to area K-12 students, and high school scholarship program open the world of artistic curiosity and creative expression to young people while preserving and interpreting a place so closely tied to Edward Hopper’s life and work.”
The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizen attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation.
Originally published: https://wsimag.com/art/46082-shadows-searching-for-light
Shadows Searching for Light
16 Nov 2018 — 17 Feb 2019 at the Edward Hopper House in New York, United States
24 NOVEMBER 2018
Shadows Searching for Light. Courtesy of Edward Hopper House
Angela’s Fraleigh’s site-specific installation, Shadows Searching for Light, is inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper (1882-1967) and his relationship with his wife, Josephine (Jo) Nivison Hopper (1883-1968). The installation is a continuation of Fraleigh’s most recent body of work, paintings which reimagine and recontextualize marginalized female figures by freeing them from their previous roles in art history.
Exploring the psychological space within Edward Hopper’s paintings, and the dynamics of the Hoppers’ two-artist marriage, Fraleigh focuses on the women who inhabit Hopper’s artwork – dramatic figures almost always modeled after Jo Nivison Hopper herself. In a vibrant transformation of the main gallery space at the Edward Hopper House, Fraleigh’s wall coverings are inspired by Jo’s bold palette and vigorous, animated brushwork. They provide a fitting backdrop for paintings that reflect Jo Hopper’s often isolated persona within the context of her relationship with her reclusive husband.
At the time of her marriage to Edward Hopper in 1924, Jo Nivison was a respected artist in her own right exhibiting in New York City galleries with American modernist masters Stuart Davis, Maurice Prendergast, and Man Ray, among others. Charles Burchfield’s first New York exhibition was a two-artist show with Jo; her diary refers to “Burchfield’s show on the right side wall and Jo Hopper’s watercolors on the left and in the window.” When the Hoppers began courting in the summer of 1923 Edward had been struggling to sell his paintings – getting by on the income from the commercial illustration work he despised – until, with Jo’s assistance, he sold his first painting in a decade to the Brooklyn Museum. Jo had been invited to show her work in a prestigious exhibition there and convinced the curators to include Edward’s new work as well. The sale represented a pivotal turning point in Hopper’s career and after their marriage, as interest in his work burgeoned, Jo’s output, and the enthusiasm for her work, waned.
As curator Elizabeth Colleary noted, “for more than forty years Jo devoted herself to helping Hopper flourish in the art world while their personal relationship suffered. She was always the stalwart supporter of her husband – serving as his model and muse, and meticulously documenting his artistic output – while she struggled to maintain vestiges of her own creative life. Her husband would denigrate her efforts but she nonetheless plodded on, enjoying the many hours the artists spent painting side by side and producing some of her best, though largely unseen, work. Jo would be heartened by Fraleigh’s efforts to position her so prominently as an artist in her own right, and within her husband’s creative process – recognition that is long overdue.”
In preparation for the installation at Edward Hopper House, Fraleigh received permission to photograph source material for the paintings in the space the Hoppers lived and worked, at 3 Washington Square North, now owned by New York University. She states “It’s a somewhat sentimental or romantic gesture, photographing a contemporary model in the Hopper home, with the same light Hopper would have painted from, positioning the figure in the same place Jo would have posed - the model role-playing Jo, who was role-playing Hopper’s “women”… but in the paintings that come from this process I’m hoping to draw out the lost threads of this particular history and connect it to contemporary concerns of agency, identity, access and power. Jo’s influence is blaring from the walls, seeping into the space, while the expressionless figures, lost forever in thought, meditate on what could have been for Jo and what could be for them.”
Edward Hopper House
Edward Hopper House has been a not-for-profit art center and museum, preserving the legacy and home of America's most iconic artist.
New York, United States
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Edward Hopper House is supported in part with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.