In her lecture "Transcending Reality: Edward Hopper's Nighthawks," Judith Barter, Field-McCormick Chair of American Art at the Art Institute, discusses Hopper's masterpiece within the cultural context of its time. Beginning with Hopper's debt to French Impressionism and his admiration of Surrealism, Barter traces Hopper's path through the 1930s, focusing on the artist's love of the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emerson's popularity with the libertarian political thinkers of the New Deal years. Within the realm of popular culture of the period, Barter describes Hopper's debt to American hard-boiled fiction and early gangster movies, which the artist so admired. Listen in for insights into Hopper and his famous painting Nighthawks, one of the most reproduced art images in the world.
Recorded Thursday, February 28, 2008 at The Art Institute of Chicago-Fullerton Hall.