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Early Sunday Morning

1930

Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1930. Oil on canvas, 35 3/16 × 60 1/4 in. (89.4 × 153 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney  31.426  On view in the museum  On view in the museum
© Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper, licensed by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Edward Hopper said that this painting is a view of Seventh Avenue in New York City, but he left out the people and cars you usually see on a busy city street. He also left out lots of details on the architecture and signs. For example, the lettering on the storefronts is unreadable and the bricks of the buildings are not defined. This ordinary city street could be from any urban area in the United States.

Although the street is empty and there are no people in this painting, there is evidence of human presence. In the second story windows, each curtain and shade is arranged differently, suggesting that a different person occupies each room. Notice how some of the windows have curtains and others look empty. Imagine who might live in these apartments.

Notice the dark shape at the top right of the painting. When Hopper painted Early Sunday Morning, construction had begun on some nearby high-rise apartment buildings. The shape looms ominously over the storefront block. Think about how Hopper might have felt about the new construction in the neighborhood.

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Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1930
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