Artist's ledger - Book III
Book: 12 3/16 × 7 5/8 × 3/4in. (31 × 19.4 × 1.9 cm) Book (open): 12 3/16 × 15 1/4 × 1/2in. (31 × 38.7 × 1.3 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Lloyd Goodrich
Rights and reproductions
© Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper/Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
After Edward Hopper completed a painting or other work he intended to sell, such as a watercolor or print, he would make a small sketch of it for his records, documenting his compositions in precisely rendered configurations of bold strokes and intricate cross-hatching. The sketches, which were kept in ordinary ledger books from Woolworth’s five-and-dime store, chronicle a lifetime of work. Hopper’s wife, Josephine (Jo) Nivison Hopper added lively descriptions of each work, often imagining anecdotal details that Hopper—a man of few words—never discussed himself. The ledger books document the business end of Hopper’s creative practice, as Jo Hopper logged the date of completion, description, sale price, and buyer for each work. The ledgers also include lists of exhibited works, references to articles and reviews, and details about trips and prizes, making them an invaluable resource for art historians and scholars.