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Tours

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Meet the Director

About the Whitney

As the preeminent institution devoted to the art of the United States, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. The Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art, and its collection—arguably the finest holdings of twentieth-century American art in the world—is the Museum's key resource. The Museum's flagship exhibition, the Biennial, is the country's leading survey of the most recent developments in American art.

Innovation has been a hallmark of the Whitney since its beginnings. It was the first museum dedicated to the work of living American artists and the first New York museum to present a major exhibition of a video artist (Nam June Paik, in 1982). Such important figures as Jasper Johns, Jay DeFeo, Glenn Ligon, Cindy Sherman, and Paul Thek were given their first comprehensive museum surveys at the Whitney. The Museum has consistently purchased works within the year they were created, often well before the artists who created them became broadly recognized.

Designed by architect Renzo Piano and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, the Whitney's current building vastly increases the Museum’s exhibition and programming space, providing the most expansive view ever of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.

Where We Are

Solo en Inglès

Hear directly from artists and curators on selected works from Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1960.

Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1930

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Mark Joshua Epstein: This painting is called Early Sunday Morning and it was made by Edward Hopper. What do you notice about it?

Student 1: Well, it looks like everything is closed, and all the shops and the windows are closed, and it doesn’t look like anybody is on the street.

Student 2: I think that it also really looks like a morning because of the way that the shadows are long.

Student 3: It shows the stillness of the morning when the sun just comes up, everybody is still in bed.

Student 4: I’m wondering if, I think the words were blurred on purpose to let you imagine what the shops would be.

Mark Joshua Epstein: Edward Hopper said that this painting was based on a part of Seventh Avenue, which is a north-south Street in New York, and I’m wondering if anyone notices something funny about the shadows.

Student 1: When the sun rises like east-west and when the street’s sky is north-south, it’s kind of weird, because you think the shadows would be going horizontally rather than vertical.

Mark Joshua Epstein: Does anyone think it’s possible that this painting is a result of a combination of observation with imagination?

Student 1: I think yes because the shadows aren’t very realistic. It’s like realistic but then some things are like a little bit off, almost.

Hopper's iconic painting of empty street scene.

Mark Joshua Epstein: This painting is called Early Sunday Morning and it was made by Edward Hopper. What do you notice about it?

Student 1: Well, it looks like everything is closed, and all the shops and the windows are closed, and it doesn’t look like anybody is on the street.

Student 2: I think that it also really looks like a morning because of the way that the shadows are long.

Student 3: It shows the stillness of the morning when the sun just comes up, everybody is still in bed.

Student 4: I’m wondering if, I think the words were blurred on purpose to let you imagine what the shops would be.

Mark Joshua Epstein: Edward Hopper said that this painting was based on a part of Seventh Avenue, which is a north-south Street in New York, and I’m wondering if anyone notices something funny about the shadows.

Student 1: When the sun rises like east-west and when the street’s sky is north-south, it’s kind of weird, because you think the shadows would be going horizontally rather than vertical.

Mark Joshua Epstein: Does anyone think it’s possible that this painting is a result of a combination of observation with imagination?

Student 1: I think yes because the shadows aren’t very realistic. It’s like realistic but then some things are like a little bit off, almost.


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. © Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY