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Seven A.M.

1948

Edward Hopper, Seven A.M., 1948. Oil on canvas, 30 3/16 × 40 1/8 in. (76.7 × 101.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase and exchange  50.8  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
Seven a.m. depicts a storefront colored by the cool light and shadows of early morning. But this store seems strangely empty. The only signs of life are the clock on the wall that shows the time, (which is also the title of the painting), and a cash register with a sale rung up. The few odd items—three bottles, a calendar, and a picture—displayed in the window provide no clues about what the store sells. The green, leafy trees on the left suggest that it is summer.

This painting seems to portray a specific time and place, as if Edward Hopper came across this scene one morning. Yet Hopper did not often paint scenes exactly as he saw them. He left out details and simplified compositions to create a particular effect and mood, like the mysterious atmosphere here.

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