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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Edward Hopper in critical condition Bledsoe, James Barry 1974

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EDWARD HOPPER IN CRITICAL CONDITION by JAMES BARRY BLEDSOE M.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of Anthropology and Sociology We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the re q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June, 1974 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e that; t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e a n d s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e H e a d o f my D e p a r t m e n t : or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . D e p a r t m e n t o f A«rfk fbp^l^'-j <=Pn£ Socjo/o^^ The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r 8 , C a n a d a D a t e August l j 1974 Abstract This thesis is about the relationship between an artist and his critics. It explores how critics develop ways of interpreting a painter's work which be-come established as the meaning of his paintings. Edward Hopper's paintings are basically ambiguous. They can be de-ciphered in a number of ways depending upon what set of interpretive procedures are used to unlock them. Therefore any consistency in the written description of his work can be looked upon as a perceived accomplishment of the critics. We have been taught how to interpret Hopper through the professional written analysis of the art critic or art historian. In their reviews critics make available a set of assembly instructions for unlocking the meaning of his paintings. Through these we learn how to decode them. For the past forty years Hopper's work has been characterized as lonely, timeless and alienated. This thesis argues that this interpretation is largely the work of Hopper's critics. It cannot be derived from his paintings as such. An important method for establishing such perceptual concensus is a classificatory pro-cedure available to critics, known as the genre concept. This concept helps to impose an order on the formal properties of a work of art. i i The genre to w h i c h Hopper 's paint ings were o r i g i n a l l y assigned is the nar rat ive pa in t ing t r a d i t i o n . S t o r y - t e l l i n g is the pr imary goa l of the nar ra t i ve pa in t ing t r a d i t i o n . It is a form of pa in t ing where the mater ia l is representat iona l w i t h the in tent ion of seeing the pa in t ing as part of a sequence of events . In a p p l y i n g the c o n c e p t to Hopper 's w o r k , the s t r ic t s t o r y - t e l l i n g d e f i -n i t i o n is m o d i f i e d . Hopper 's paint ings do not f i t c o m p l e t e l y the representat iona l requirements of narrative painting. A t t e n t i o n becomes focussed on the situational episode rather than an o n - g o i n g story . The s p e c i f i c q u a l i t i e s of t imelessness, a l i e n -a t i o n , and lonel iness emerge, i t is a r g u e d , as a product of the a p p l i c a t i o n of the nar ra t i ve genre to paint ings w h i c h do not f u l l y c o n f o r m . Thus the s p e c i a l q u a l i t i e s w i t h w h i c h Hopper 's work is i d e n t i f i e d are seen as a product of the c r i t i c ' s own in te rp re t i ve work in i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the paint ings themselves . The thesis further explores how this e f fect is a c c o m p l i s h e d by d e s c r i b i n g the b u i l d - u p of a c r i t i c a l t rad i t ion among c r i t i c s of Hopper 's work i n the 1930s and '40s . The s p e c i f i c p rac t ices used b y c r i t i c s in es tab l i sh ing an in te rp re t i ve concensus are d e s c r i b e d . The primary methods used are: (1) S p e c i a l ins ider 's k n o w l e d g e about the art ist h imsel f ; (2) the use of one another 's c r i t i c a l rev iews as a resource f i l e ; and (3) the c r i t i c ' s p r i v i l e g e d use of the art ist 's own statements. O n c e the gradual establ ishment of the in te rp re ta t ion becomes r e c o g n i z e d as the l e g i t i m a t e in te rpretat ion of his work , this a lso creates a s e l e c t i o n of the painter 's work as a cent ra l corpus . This consists of those paint ings w h i c h t y p i c a l l y confirm the critical consensus and which recur again and again in the critical dis-cussion of his work. Paintings which do not fit the established interpretive pro-cedures are relegated to the sidelines. These interpretive procedures are passed on by the critics to the reader who learns from them how to recognize the important works of a painter and how to look at and interpret them. This is part of the process of cultural mediation. Through this passing on of interpretive procedures critical traditions are constructed and maintained. 0 Acknowl edgments I wish to dedicate this thesis to the people who have taught me sociology. Each one has had a part to play in my education, each one has had some-thing to do with the kind of sociologist I am. I have learned from all of them, and would like to think that if anything I say is worth listening to it is a commentary on the quality of the teaching, and not on the quality of the pupil. I list them in the order in which I met them: Gary Shogren (I know he would prefer to be called a student of human nature), Jerry Olson, Ron Silvers, Jim, Dorothy Smith, and Phil Roth. I would like to say a special "thank you" to Dorothy Smith who made me come to know what it means to say something clearly and accurately. She saw the potential value of this work when it was nothing more than a sketchy idea, and would not let me be satisfied until I had fully explored the subject and developed my thoughts completely. Her formulation of interpretive pro-cedures in discussions with me contributed considerably to the overall theoretical framework. J . B . B . Vancouver, B . C . 1974. Table of Contents Page A b s t r a c t • A c k n o w l e d g m e n t s i v C h a p t e r I - The Problem Formulated and Put in Perspect ive 1 Chap te r II - The I n i t i a l Problem of C a t e g o r i z a t i o n 17 The G e n r e C o n c e p t 18 The N a r r a t i v e Pa in t i ng T rad i t i on 29 C h a p t e r 111 - The Cons t ruc t i on and Establ ishment of the Interpret ive T rad i t ion 35 I The N a r r a t i v e Pa in t ing T rad i t i on : M a i n Sequence \ 35 II The N a r r a t i v e Pa in t ing T rad i t i on : M o d i f i e d Sequence 44 Summary 57 Chap te r IV - Edward Hopper 's O w n C o n t r i b u t i o n 58 (1) The D e s c r i p t i v e Frame 66 (2) Hopper and A l i e n a t i o n . 68 (3) Hopper and Lonel iness 69 (4) The Stoppage of Time 70 Chap te r V - "Champions are M a d e not b o r n " 74 (1) Insider's K n o w l e d g e 76 (2) Rev iews as Resources 85 (3) C r i t i c ' s P r i v i l e g e d Interpretat ions 86 Chap te r VI - Locating the Assemb ly Instructions 97 vi Table of Contents - continued Page Conclusion 108 Epilogue: Mrs. R. G . Williams. Docent 113 Appendices: Appendix A 117 Appendix B 119 Notes*. 120 Bibliography 126 I The Problem Formulated and Put in Perspect ive " Inher i ted ideas are a cur ious t h i n g , and i n te res t -ing to-observe and e x a m i n e " . M a r k Twa in - A C o n n e c t i c u t Y a n k e e in K i n g Ar thur ' s C o u r t . If any one word c a n best descr ibe how Edward Hopper 's work f irst a f f e c t e d me then i t w o u l d be ' n o s t a l g i a ' . T h i n k i n g b a c k on i t now, i t was the f i rst f e e l i n g 1 c a n remem-ber hav ing toward any of his pa in t i ngs . I f i rst d i scove red Hopper back in 1966 or '67 when I was s t i l l an undergraduate . I had been study ing in the c o l l e g e l i b ra ry one Sunday a f t e r -noon and - b e i n g bored w i t h what I was supposed to be d o i n g - p i c k e d u p an art book that someone had left l y i n g on the study tab le where I was w o r k i n g . A s I began turn ing pages one pa in t ing caught my e y e . It was a p a i n t i n g of a gas s t a t i o n , v i n t a g e 1940 . What had caught my a t ten t ion i n the pa in t i ng was 'The S ign of the F l y i n g Red H o r s e 1 , an o l d emblem for the M o b i l O i l C o r p o r a t i o n . By the t ime I f i rst saw the p a i n t i n g , this s ign had a l r e a d y gone the way of o l d w o r n - o u t corporate symbols , but it reminded me of a gas stat ion that had stood on a corner not far from where I had once l i v e d when I was g row ing u p . I now r e a l i z e that when the work was pa inted that is what a gas stat ion l ooked l i k e . The painter was not d e a l i n g w i t h nos ta lg ia at a l l but mere ly a scene from 1940 A m e r i c a . In the rather casual w a y I was in t roduced to the p a i n t i n g , h o w e v e r , I f e l t that whoever the art ist w a s , he must have had a degree of ins ight in order to r e c o g n i z e some of the ob jects that were b e g i n n i n g to be cons idered as m e m o r a b i l i a . The art ist had he lped me to th ink about my o l d ne ighborhood ; R e x a l l drug stores, c o m i c books , y o - y o contests , c h i l d r e n who had grown up and moved a w a y . It was q u i t e a 2 pleasant experience for me and one that I enjoyed far more than whatever had taken me into the library originally. Eventually I put the book down and went back to my other studies without it ever occurring to me that I should write down the name of the painting, the artist, or the book the painting appeared in. Nevertheless, the painting stayed with me, stored away in the back of my mind along with a thousand other images, odors, and sounds that I would never be able to footnote or give a source for. I still remember the way the road led away from the gas station and into the approaching darkness, the way the light came pouring out of the door and windows, the neat, clean, well-scrubbed quality as in Hemingway's A Clean Well Lighted Place, and the flood lamp shining down on the Mobilgas sign and the tree directly behind it. The painting had left an impression on me, had cast its spell, and over the years I found myself regretting the fact that I had not written down the name, of the artist so that I could look at the painting again. When I entered graduate school several years later, I had an opportunity to enroll in a class taught by Ron Silvers on the Sociology of Art. The course centered around Silvers' interest in how artists construct ideologies of alienation and how these ideologies are applied to their work.^ It was this class's focus on the theme of alienation that finally led me back to re-discovering Edward Hopper. Although the class eventually investigated other dimensions of art as well, it started with an examination of the concept of alienation as applied to various artists. Since the grade for the course was based largely on one long research paper it seemed ad-visable to begin early on and find out as much about artists and alienation as one could. When I first started the course, I had had little formal background in the subject area; therefore, I started out as I suppose many people would by going over to the fine arts library and asking one of the librarians for more information. As I began to outline the nature of the course and its interests, the librarian told me that what I was describing reminded her of the work of Edward Hopper. Once she showed me some of his paintings, I had the feeling that I had seen his work before, and that there was a chance he might have been the artist who had painted the picture of the gas station. Eventually, I found that this was indeed the case when I ran across Hopper's painting Gas (1940) which had appeared in Romantic Painting in America,^ the book I had been looking at that day in the library several years before. Two things had now predisposed me to viewing alienation in Hopper's work. One was the discussion of alienation in the class and the other was the expertise of a fine arts librarian. When I wrote my paper on Hopper for the course, I was convinced that he captured the spirit of alienation in his work. I found that I could demonstrate this fact easily enough but, as was pointed out to me later by both Dorothy Smith and Ron Silvers, I could do so only by using what the critics themselves had said. It was true that they had said what they did, and it confirmed what I wanted to show. Yet it did not go far enough, for there were still some loose ends that would not fit. Loose ends, by the way, with which I chose not to deal rather than work them into the paper I was writing. To my chagrin, I found the phenomenon of alienation quite elusive. I felt it and saw it in his work but the concept "alienation" never seemed to hold still long enough for me to get a clear understanding of what it was so that I could begin to describe it accurately. The ambiguity in Hopper's work made the interpretation of alienation, 4 timelessness, and loneliness seem appropriate. Yet, I was never able to pin down the mean-ing of these terms vis a vis Hopper's work with any degree of success. It was a pretended insight to point to what an art critic had said about alienation and Hopper and then use it to substantiate my point. I could begin with what the critics said about alienation and Hopper's work, and then go to his painting to substantiate my point. But if I began by merely looking at his work, I could not, with any certainty, recover from it the theme of alienation. That view of his work seemed unstable without the critics' support. In short, my original project had proven to be a disappointment in that I was not able to link up a direct connection between Hopper's work on the one hand and the concept of alienation on the other. Nevertheless, the paper had proven useful in that after collecting a number of review articles, I could see that an interesting relationship had developed between what Edward Hopper had painted and what had been written about those paintings by the critics. One of the interesting features that was accidentally discovered while collecting information on Hopper was the remarkable degree of similarity in the statements written about his work by the critics and review writers over a forty-year time span. This striking coinci-dence is so pronounced that recently some scholarly research was undertaken to determine why there is such an astonishing degree of similarity in the accounts written of him by the critics.^ At first I thought I could simply use this fact as a further means of substantiating what I wanted to say about Hopper. However, as I began to examine the critical reviews carefully and became more aware of the scope of the material written about him, I saw that the critics had used this 5 same procedure for substantiating what it was that they had wanted to say. They too had taken their interpretations from the interpretations made by the critics who preceded them. To paraphrase E. H . Gombrich, the critics were treating conceptual abstractions as if they were tangible realities within the formal properties of the paintings, or merely secur-ing an interpretation through what language had already prepared.^ The methods used by the critics to build up and establish an interpretation of Hopper's work seemed to go against what I regarded to be certain rules of scholarship. I began to find some of their methods to be particularly distasteful. At this point I was no longer interested in further aiding and abetting their enterprise, but in trying instead to understand what they did as a set of working practices. In their role of mediating between artist and "audience", critics were not doing scholarship after al l . They were doing critic-ism. At first I was upset when I saw how the critics would ignore interpretations that did not confirm the interpretation they were putting forth. Secondly, I could also see that the critics would occasionally put words into Hopper's mouth simply to confirm their in-terpretations. Once I realized that these were working practices used by the critics in their day-to-day activities, I began to consider ways of showing how ignoring conflicting statements or occasionally putting words in an artist's mouth are distinctive ways in which the critic gets his cultural work done. Finally, I could see that there was clearly a pro-gression from the early stages of Hopper's career when no explicit interpretation of his work stood out prominently, to a place where a particular set of specific instructions was used in order to interpret his work. I was surprised that the critics had not mentioned the fact. Was this part of their working practices too? 6 Furthermore, while I had been engaged in the process of collecting informa-tion on Hopper another thing was beginning to happen to me as well. The nostalgia feel-ing that I had known when I was first introduced to his work was now being replaced by the notion of loneliness, alienation, timelessness, and silence. I was convinced that these must be the major themes in his work even though I was unable to prove it. I had unknow-ingly stepped into the world of socially approved knowledge^ the place where my world was "premarked", "preindicated", "presignified", and even "presymbolized". The properties of the knowledge that I was acquiring were determined for me by somebody else. Schutz speaks of this when he says, "It is entirely irrelevant for a des-cription of a world taken for granted by a particular society whether the socially approved and derived knowledge is indeed true knowledge. All elements of such knowledge includ-ing appresentational references of any kind, if believed to be true, are real components of the 'Definition of the situation1 by members of the group. "° In other words, I was becoming a member of the group. I was learning how to recognize, organize, and assign meaning and values to the visual features of Hopper's work. My interpretive procedures for seeing Hopper's paintings had now been influenced by the critical reviews that I had read. I was now the conceptual bearer of an artistic and critical tradition as it focussed on Hopper. Nevertheless, there was one fact that would not go away despite the critics. The visual properties of Hopper's work had not always been seen and described as they are today. In fact, there was a progression from a period where no explicit interpretation was predominant to a point where a particular application of specific interpretations was 7 made. The critical tradition that surrounds Hopper's work today was constructed and established over a period of time. What is currently being seen in his work was not seen originally. A change had taken place and now the impression of consecutive articulation was part of the Hopper tradition. The notion that people had always seen the same thing in Hopper's work was part of the maintenance and preservation procedures that went into making up the critical tradition that surrounded him. What I am suggesting here, and wish to develop further in the course of this study, is that it is through a set of assembly instructions made available by critics that critical traditions are constructed and maintained. I know from my own experience that critics were doing far more than simply evaluating works of art when they wrote about them. I had been influenced bywhat they had written. I had come from a place where I saw Hopper's work as a kind of nostalgic representation of my youth to a place where his world was alienated, lonely, and timeless. Now when I looked at Gas, I saw the lone figure of a man standing by the gasoline pumps. I saw the road with nobody on it rolling onward into the approaching darkness. I actually looked at the painting differently. I no longer gave so much prominence to "The Sign of the Flying Red Horse". In the course of reading the reviews I had picked up a set of instructions for how to view Edward Hopper. What is more, if I was being taught how to see Hopper's paintings by the critics then, in all likeli-hood, I was being influenced by an interpretive process general in nature. In order to obtain a clearer idea of this process I began to develop a model that would permit the examination of the rules that govern the sets of symbols and elements which make up the distinctive features of a critical tradition. Here, then, is the direction I took in spelling out this interpretive process: 8 A work of art is analogous to a message. It is a form of communication. The visual conventions found in a work of art are rather like a code that the viewer must know how to decipher if he is to be able to see what it means.^ The viewer must know how to interpret a work of art. He must command a set of interpretive procedures which recognize, organize and assign meaning and values to the visual features of a work of art. In the case of paintings, the viewer's view depends upon the interpretive procedures he brings to those paintings. They are not in the painting in any simple sense, "though the viewer sees them in the painting, just as the meaning of a message is seen as being in the printed word. In the following study, the term "inter-pretive procedures" is used to emphasize the fact that seeing the painting as meaningful is an accomplishment on the part of the viewer. The viewer himself must command a way of seeing the painting. On the other hand, the artist can be seen as aiming at a set of interpretive pro-cedures .which will organize and assemble the visual features of his work as he intends it to be seen. When an artist innovates, a new way of seeing the painting is called for and viewers have to learn or discover how that is to be accomplished. The visual properties of a work of art restrict the interpretive procedures which will work for it. However, they do not determine them. For example, the visual properties of painting intended in the genre of abstract expressionism cannot be interpreted in terms of the narrative painting tradition. Similarly, it should be realized that the painting and the interpretive procedures used to view it are not rigidly geared to one another. The visual properties of the painting 9 may be interpreted on the part of the viewer by procedures which the artist himself did not intend. In other words, the painting and the interpretive procedures are not neces-sarily perfectly articulated. They can come apart, e .g. , the interpretive practices of contemporary art may be applied to art from other historical periods or to art from other cultures. The painting may be seen in a different way than it was originally painted for. Correspondingly, when an artist innovates, people may not be able to "see anything in" his painting because the interpretive practices they are using belong to a different tradi-tion. For purposes of defining it, we could say that an artistic tradition exists when there is a consistency and institutionalization of an interpretive practice such that particu-lar visual conventions, symbols, themes, forms, style, etc., are recognizable and under-standable in its terms. The development of an artistic tradition makes possible a coinci-dence between the artist's own intention and how his viewers interpret his work so that they can look at and interpret it in the same terms as he intends it. These interpretive procedures are learned. One of the principal ways that we are taught how to interpret art in this culture is through the professional analysis of the art critic or art historian. The majority of art works known to us have become known through a process of critical mediation. Works of art and the craftsmen who make them provide the raw material or basic resources for the critics who manufacture and package a variety of processed solutions to visual cryptograms. Once packaged, these solutions are then made available for mass distribution through an elaborate set of institutions, e .g. , mass and other media, art galleries, art schools, and libraries. In time they become 10 part of the culturally accepted products that encircle us, determining our standards of aesthetics and influencing our notions of taste. In using Edward Hopper's paintings and what has been written about them, we can begin to understand how works of art are constituted so that certain elements within the formal properties of the painting are sustained. By showing people how to look at paintings and how to go about recognizing what is in them, the critic is assigning values to them so that the viewer will know what should be attended to. Over a period of time, the establishment of an agreed upon set of elements that are to be found in the formal properties of the painting preserves an impression of consecutive articulation. Here I am using "consecutive articulation" to mean the kind of reality consensus that critics have used and applied when they have come to describe the features of Hopper's artistic world. What I want to do is explicate the various dimensions of the critical tradition by which the interpretation of Hopper's work has come down to us and, at the same time, demonstrate how, once that tradition isjestablished, it then becomes the method for interpreting his work. While engaged in the process of collection, anything written or said about Edward Hopper has had equal status and validity. The statements written about him by the critics constitute all the variations on the theme; consequently their subjective correctness -what I would agree with - is not the primary concern here. I want to make it explicit that the significance of the critics' individual insights are altogetheruunimportant for my study. During the course of this study, their written works, the insights they have obtained, and the knowledge they have communicated and passed on, will be used and dealt with in an altogether different way. Instead of agreeing with any emerging or established interpretation n of Hopper's work, I am assuming that there is an explicit ambiguity in his paintings and am treating it as one of their properties. This avoids the conventional assumption that paintings themselves give off determinate messages. Assuming for once that they do not give off determinate messages gives me an analytical control I would not have in another framework. By beginning to negotiate with the very reality of a painting itself, this study can be used as the wild card that permits the expansion and enlargement of what constitutes appreciative interpretation, instead of a harness for conceptual bondage. In what follows I will show that critical interpretations have a built-in set of instructions for 'reading' the object under discussion. What is more, by going through the enterprise as it applies to Hopper and showing how it works in his case, it will cast light on.one conceivable method for how artistic traditions and interpretations are (1) constructed and established and (2) preserved and maintained. It is important to understand what properties of Hopper's art were most outstand-ing to the critics, for the mediation of the tradition turns on these observations. We know already, that Hopper's work is open to at least two different interpretations. In the following chapters more evidence will be provided to indicate that this is indeed the case. As we will see, the visual properties of Hopper's paintings were interpreted using procedures which the artist himself did not intend. The basic ambiguity of a Hopper painting can be deciphered in a number of ways depending upon what sets of keys are used to unlock them with. His paintings and the interpretive procedures used to describe them are not rigidly geared to one another. Hopper's work has been classified as part of the narrative painting tradition. For what the critics have wished to accomplish, the narrative painting tradition is the genre 12 that best seems to characterize his work. (The concept of genre as the critic's tool will be described in the following chapter). This tradition is a pre-existing category that has existed in Western Art for centuries. The narrative painting tradition or narrative style are both recognized trade terms encountered in the study of the plastic arts. They are familiar terms used in the daily activities of critics and reviewers much as a sociologist would be familiar with terms like class or dialectical materialism or a plumber would be with hex bushings or counter sink plugs. Both the genre concept and the narrative painting tradition are important for our understanding of how Hopper has come to be interpreted. They are both used as an already available starting point for interpretation. By drawing on those two concepts for use in describing his work the die has been cast. The interpretation that now exists is dependent on these two pre-selected categories; they both act as the perceptual grids through which Hopper's work is deciphered. This cannot be stressed enough. They are both used to make the initial definition of his work and become an integral part of the pack-age of instructions which comprise the viewing directions. The Critic's Role While actively engaged in the task of review writing, critics never bring into question the whole issue of how a particular interpretation came to them in the first place. Reviews read as if this substantiated interpretation of Hopper's work is always out there on the surface of the canvas, waiting to be interpreted and it is merely the job of the critic to sit at a typewriter and record that which already exists. Even people who attempt to explain why critics use certain adjectival terms to describe Edward Hopper (try to do so by using the essential corpus of his paintings as the starting point for their description. From the standpoint of the critic, 'facts' are communicated but little atten-tion is devoted to the explanation of the socially organized, historical process that went into producing an interpretation in the first place. This process apparently is not seen as being part of their enterprise, so it is consequently never discussed as an issue. I have yet to encounter a critic, for instance, suggesting to his reading audience that they use a certain set of viewing instructions for a Hopper painting simply because there might be a possible aesthetic pay-off in looking at it in that way. For art criticism's primary con-cern is not to provide viewers with alternative visual approaches to works of art. If it were, it could be done in Hopper's case. Alternative interpretations are available if one bothered to look far enough. It would be no scholarly feat to research the subject back to where alternative interpretations exist. This would seem to be an integral part of the enter prise but I have yet to see it applied to Hopper. The crjtic acts as a go-between. His role is to mediate between the artist and the public. It is a mistake to consider a review as simply an evaluation of a work of art. As we will see, the critic or reviewer is instructing and teaching his audience how to look at an artist's work. This will require further explication for the critical traditions have bui within their structure a set of viewing instructions which are tacit and consequently inter-pretations are always presented as if they were a concrete fact about a painting itself. Even the critical work of addressing the picture as such involves a special in-terpretive practice, as well as special knowledge on the part of the critic which he then passes on to the viewer as an aspect of what is to be found in the picture. Jack Burnham's The Structure of Art can help us here. It acts as a warning for some.of the descriptive pitfalls one is likely to encounter in a study of this nature. It is a good example in that Burnham was aware of the working practices of the critics, tried to avoid their use in his study, and made a conscious effort to go beyond mere art criticism. The Structure of Art attempts to demonstrate the shortcomings of conventional art scholarship on a very large scale. In his introduction and first two chapters he lays out a rich smorgasboard of ideas, providing the reader with an interesting and thoroughly in-structive critique of both art history and art criticism. Then, using the structuralist ap-proach developed by Levi-Strauss, de Saussure, Barthes, Chomsky, and Piaget, Burnham lays out the groundwork for a seemingly foolproof method of interpreting art that would avoid the constraints of the conventional styles of interpretation and would begin to get at the underlying structure of what lies "below or behind empirical reality". Burnham chooses to accomplish this by subjecting a number of paintings and sculptures to a formal scheme he has developed which employs the use of charts and tables, a series of black lines dividing the page into sections, and a taxonomy that reduces all the art objects he discusses into two categories, "Natural and Cultural". Notwithstand-ing the precautions he has obviously taken, and the lengthy explanation of art criticism's built-in defects, Burnham, by chapter three, is back at square one using the very same interpretive procedures he has gone to such great lengths to caution his readers against. As can be seen in the following example, Burnham's own analysis - although side-stepping the problems of narrative description - runs into another problem by simply trying to describe what is going on in the one frame the painting deals with. When Claude Monet's "Haystack, Winter, Giverny" (1891) is subjected to his analytic scheme, 15 Burnham says the following: "A haystack near Monet's home in Giverny, at dawn; the snow appears to be melting on the ground; the hill and trees in the background are a medium to dark sky blue." 8 This seems to be a straightforward description of a Monet painting, and certainly Burnham has not tampered with the facts to support his own theory. The facts seem to be facts until I remember that Burnham has been trying to demonstrate the short-comings of art criticism. Remembering that, I read another whole set of implications into his statement. Clearly there is no actual evidence in the painting to tell us where the haystack is located geographically unless we are already privy to a good deal of know-ledge about Monet himself. By telling us where the haystack is located, Burnham is giving us the benefit of special insider's knowledge. By saying that the haystack is "near Monet's home" he places the haystack somewhere in the world for us. But the location of that hay-stack is not evident from any information given off by the painting unless one already knows that Monet lived in a small village that was called Giverny. For Burnham to inform us that the haystack is near Monet's home requires that he either wrench a fiction loose or that some degree of preliminary homework has been done before the painting was subjected to his Natural-Cultural scheme. Furthermore, there is the application of a specific time co-ordinate in his narrative so that we not only know that the haystack is near Monet's home, but that it is dawn and that the snow appears to be melting on the ground. There is, of course, nothing wrong with Burnham's interpretive procedures. It is certainly one way of seeing this painting and it does lend itself to a general appreciation of Monet's work. This interpretation of the painting sounds more like the procedures used by people responding to a Thematic Apperception Test. In a T . A . T . , for instance, the sub-ject is shown a series of pictures for each of which he is asked to make up a story. The T . A . T . depends upon and uses the procedures of the narrative painting tradition for its success. Both "normal" individuals and mental patients enter into taking this test with a previously learned set of interpretive procedures for describing to the psychologist what is going on in the picture. What the psychologist pays attention to, however, are the "figures and objects not depicted in the picture but introduced in the story, and also to items which may be prominent or significant in the picture but omitted in the story. " ^ When Burnham states that the snow is melting, that statement is an interpretive act, not a mere statement of "facts". One could just as easily have said that it appears to be at dusk and that the snow is beginning to freeze on the ground. In choosing to fell us that the snow is melting Burnham gives determination to his reading of something in-determinate in the painting and then communicates that message to us. Burnham has tried to avoid the narrative painting tradition in his description of Monet's painting. He chose instead a technique whereby the description was confined to the formal properties of the painting itself. Yet even here we see that the painting may be interpreted on the part of the viewer by procedures that are not determined completely by the painting itself. 17 II The Initial Problem of Categorization "If the Old Man said something was so, then it probably was, because he was one of those caut-ious babies who'll look out a window at a cloud-burst and say, Mt seems to be raining', on the offchance that somebody's pouring water off the roof. " Dashiell Hammett, The Big Knockover It would be worth bearing in mind the initial pre-selection process that is accomplished prior to the actual description of an artist's work. For it is this selecting and choosing amongst a corpus of artistic traditions which enabled a particular set of interpretations to be made. One of the important roles the critic has in mediating between the artist and the public is to bring new art work under survey by established interpretive practices so that they become part of a tradition. The construction of a critical tradition depends first upon the initial selection from amongst the corpus of art traditions that the critic already has available to him. The initial definition of Hopper depends upon selection from amongst this corpus of traditions prior to the actual critical description of his work. This in itself may not be realized by either the critic or the reader but is the crucial first step in beginning to describe an artist's work. When a critic begins to write a review, the initial problem is one of categorization. He must either select from amongst an already existing corpus of art traditions or invent one of his own. The number of categories available to an imaginative critic would depend upon his knowledge of the field as a whole, and familiarity with what has been said previously. This knowledge is parr of the critic's working credentials; that which enables him to make pronouncements on the content of works of art. The Genre Concept The .PJenre concept^is one of the tools a critic has available to him in his organizational repertoire. It has come to be used as a classificatory procedure. Its use makes the critic's job that much easier in bringing new work in under a set of established interpretive practices. By incorporating a single piece of art or style into a larger system, he can begin to use comparison and artistic analogy. Reviews are quite commonly formu-lated in terms of how the artist's work compares to another artist's, or to the same artist at an earlier stage of his own development. Has he improved? How does his later, more mature style compare to his earlier works when the influence of a former teacher or 'schoo was still evident? The genre concept is an initial means of categorization; a general link up with a larger process. Once it has been initiated, comparisons with other works of art become possible. The critic can then begin to get a sense of what classes or categories will apply to a work of art. If indeed a new piece of art was not seen as fitting into a previously established category the critic could develop a new genre and begin to dessi-minate a set of new interpretive practices to show people how to go about recognizing the new and the unfamiliar. The fgenre concept helps to impose an order onto the formal properties of a work of art. It is used to group together a variety of things under one heading; the cave paintings in the south of France, for example, or the mosaics inside the Egyptian tombs. By employing the>'eoncept, single pieces of art or a particular distinctive style can be 19 incorpora ted in to a larger system. In The Structure of A r t , Burnham descr ibed it this way : " O n e mechanism by w h i c h myths operate in art h istory is the 'genre c o n c e p t ' , or the means of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n w h i c h i so la te a r t i s t i c events in to groups and sub-groups for ease of h a n d -l i n g . " 11 To understand why this is the c a s e , the reader must be in t roduced to one of the assumptions of art c r i t i c i s m . A r t , for Western M a n , is never seen in h i s t o r i c a l i s o l a -t i o n . W i thou t this part of the mach inery in opera t ion the w h o l e enterpr ise w o u l d c o l l a p s e or look d r a s t i c a l l y d i f fe rent from the w a y i t looks n o w . "The success of art h istory depends upon the r e d u c i b i l i t y of every work of a r t , every s t y l e , to a f i n i t e point or segment in t i m e . A s G e o r g e Kuber observes, works of art do not exist in t i m e , they have an entry p o i n t " . ^ A s a method of express ion , genres c a n be understood as p laces where c e r t a i n c o m m u n i c a t i v e techn iques c a n manifest themselves . The s c i e n c e f i c t i o n wr i te r P h i l i p Klass points out that , "genres foster a s p e c i a l k i n d of c o l l e c t i v e c r e a t i v i t y . . . a n e x c i t i n g p layground for l i v e l y minds. " ^ A genre is a s p e c i f i e d a r t i s t i c m i l i e u where the mate r ia l used to c r e a t e a work of art is seen as b e i n g o r g a n i z e d so that it is r e c o g n i z a b l e as f a l l i n g in to a des ignated scheme of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . By w o r k i n g w i t h i n this des ignated scheme, artists w o r k i n g in a number of med ia c a n p r a c t i c e theme and v a r i a t i o n i n the i r c o m p o s i -t i o n s . They are not c o m p e l l e d to f o l l o w a s t r ic t fo rmu la for an estab l ished g e n r e , o n l y to know what the boundar ies are w i t h i n w h i c h they c a n range . M o r e o v e r , these schemes of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n are r e c o g n i z e d by both artists and c r i t i c s a l i k e . A s a method for d e s c r i p t i o n , genres ex is t as a l o c a t i o n where an art ist 's work c a n be assigned to an appropr ia te i n te rp re r t i v e f rame . 20 There is an analogy here between recognizing a painting as falling within the boundaries of a specified genre on the one hand, and the procedures for recognizing mental illness on the other. In the case of a painting, the viewer has been provided with a preliminary set of viewing instructions for how to recognize, organize, and assign mean-ing and values to the visual features of an artist's work. A similar phenomena holds true for the recognition of mental illness. Smith, in her paper "K is Mentally III" says that "The conceptual 'schema which is the meaning of the term 'mental illness' (as I know it) provides a set of criteria and rules for ordering events against which the ordering of events in the account may be matched, or tested. An account which is immediately convincing is one which forces that classification and makes any other difficult. " ^ As a critical procedure for classification, the genre concept refers to kinds of subject matter; the method whereby a critic can associate an artist's work with an estab-lished set of interpretive practices. In this sense, a genre then is the designation of types of subject matter and their appropriate forms into arbitrary categories. Furthermore, genres exist as useful sets of themes and images that exist as a common body of knowledge amongst artists, critics and viewers alike. These themes, symbols and techniques of expression are recognized as a general set of motifs that can be selected for use when an artist paints a particular work; they can be selected for use when a critic describes a work of art using established interpretive practices; or, finally, they can be used as an interpretive procedure for viewing a piece of artwork. As an interpretive procedure, genres exist as socio-aesthetic entities or models within an agreed upon range of expression. However, the actual staging of the genre can take many forms and the artist can lay out his visual representations as he sees fit. If an 2) artist's work is seen as a departure from an established genre, then another avenue open to the critic is to begin developing and disseminating new and varient interpretive pro-cedures for viewing that work. Again, to quote Burnham, "Newly discovered art objects are, if possible, incorporated into the concepts of object, style and history. When a radical adjustment is necessary, it is made by defining a new stylistic concept, leaving other styles essentially undisturbed. In a similar way older works are adjusted and re-evaluated. " 15 Application of the genre concept enables the critic to classify the theme, symbols, and communicative techniques into a set of definite styles. These themes, sym-bols, and communicative techniques will henceforth be referred to as visual vocabularies. These visual vocabularies are what identify and assign an artist's work to one particular genre. This way, the critic can then begin to get a sense of what classes or groups of categories will apply, and start writing about them. Once the genre concept has been initiated, then comparisons with similar works of art become possible. The definite themes or the specific aims of a painter can be analyzed and compared within a context of what other painters have done. There are numerous genres. Each is seen as having a distinct set of characteris-tics that isolate it from others. Abstract expressionism, for example, can be distinguished from either surrealism or Italian High Renaissance painting. In looking at a piece of art that is considered to fall under the category abstract expressionism, the viewer would begin to look for styles of form and color, or perhaps the special geometric relationships between forms and color. It would never occur to a viewer that he should look for the iconographical 2 2 symbolism of the Italian High Renaissance or the incongruities of meaning associated with certain surrealist painters. Likewise, the viewer would not view an abstract expressionist painting as being a statement of a representational situation, or a statement of the artist's relationship to a landscape. By viewing a painting and seeing it as an abstract expression-ist painting other genres are not abandoned, they are simply not used in making an inter- pretation. It would never occur to the viewer that he should apply other techniques for interpreting. Let us now turn our attention to how the genre concept applies to Edward Hopper. As we have seen, the genre concept is an initial means of categorization; a general link-up with a larger process. Once it has been initiated, comparisons with other works of art become possible. The critic can then begin to get a sense of what classes or groups of categories will apply, and then begin writing about them. When we note the perceptual consensus made by the critics who describe Hop-per's work, we are also witnessing the practical accomplishment that allows for the continua-tion of the enterprise. Its continual perpetuation is subtly tied to the perceptual agreement seen in the reviews which, in turn, is the result of critics utilizing and relying upon the same essential sets of socially recognized contexts in order to make their interpretations. Hopper's paintings do not stand by themselves in historical isolation. As with the rest of the artifacts that go to make up art history's descriptive domain, Hopper's paintings too have a particular time and place of origin. This, then, is what the art critics are in the practice of going about doing: devoting themselves to finding the ancient land bridges between the large body of art that goes to make up the corpus of Western art and its connection with Edward Hopper's work. When Hopper 's work was i n i t i a l l y brought under estab l ished i n te rp re t i ve p r a c -t i c e s , c r i t i c s compared him to the A s h c a n S c h o o l , otherwise known as the A s h C a n S c h o o l , A s h C a n t r a d i t i o n , and the Chase Schoo l of A r t . * N e x t , c r i t i c s note that he studied w i t h Robert H e n r i , the founder of this s c h o o l . A t this po in t , h o w e v e r , we b e g i n to d is t ingu ish a d i f f e r e n c e in the use of the term genre for there is a cons ide rab le v a r i a t i o n in the c r i t i c a l accounts and they go off in a series of d i r e c t i o n s . Some underscore the i n f l u e n c e of the A s h c a n S c h o o l on Hopper as , for examp le : "Edward Hopper had d i r e c t roots in the A s h C a n t r a d i t i o n . . . In any compar ison between Hopper and B u r c h f i e l d it should be remembered that Hopper had d e v e l o p e d d i r e c t l y out of the A s h C a n S t y l e . . . E s p e c i a l l y in such etch ings as East S i d e Inter ior (1922) and Even ing W i n d (1921) and such p a i n t -ings as Two O n A n A i s l e (1927) he is s t i l l the outstanding inher i to r of the Ash C a n t r a d i t i o n , r e t a i n i n g in these some sense of the warmth that most of his other work l a c k s . " 1° S t i l l other c r i t i c s use the i n f l u e n c e of the A s h c a n S c h o o l as a basis for d i f f e r e n -t i a t i o n between the art ist and the s c h o o l . The st ructur ing e f fec t of b r i ng ing him under a set of estab l ished i n te rp re t i ve p rac t ices is s t i l l n o t i c e a b l e h e r e , however : " R a r e l y has a ca reer been so strongly and s i n g l e m i n d e d l y susta ined . Born in N y a c k , N e w Y o r k , i n 1882, he s tud ied w i t h Robert H e n r i , sk i r ted the A s h c a n S c h o o l , S o c i a l R e a l -i sm, A m e r i c a n S c e n e P a i n t i n g , and t h e n , w i t h an e x t r a -o rd inary d i s p l a y of s tamina , s imp ly out las ted them a l l . " 17 "But the conse rva t i ve art w o r l d cons idered them r e v o l u -t ionar ies and chr i s tened them 'The A s h c a n S c h o o l ' . Their l e a d i n g sp i r i t was Robert H e n r i , a good f ighter and one of the most s t imu la t i ng teachers of his d a y . . . E d w a r d Hopper 's o r ig ins l a y i n the Henr i g roup , but his deve lopment took him far beyond i t . "18 * l have seen it descr ibed a l l these d i f fe rent ways and apparen t l y there is no estab l ished agreement as yet as to w h i c h one is ' c o r r e c t ' . These examples illustrate the procedures critics have available for placing the artist and his work into a pre-existing category. In this case the pre-existing category is the Ashcan School. Moreover, this common procedure for classification is the initial entry point for Hopper's work into the larger scheme of art history. All these reviews allude to the lore of the Ashcan genre, and the critics' ability to associate Hopper's paintings with something they are familiar with. Edward Hopper no longer remains as an isolated event. The Ashcan School is his entry point back into the extended process of art history. Now he has a place, a location in space and time. Now he can be talked about, described, inter-preted. Once he has been located, that provides also for .1 differentiating as a critical strategy. Other critics have pointed out how Hopper was able to move on to another style which was more an expression of his own self: "Edward Hopper was probably the most generally respected of all contemporary American artists. His work, which is intensely individual, cannot be classified beyond the state-ment that it is realistic, and no school or movement has been able to claim him as its own." 19 As Hopper's work itself is placed into a larger framework, so, too, is the Ashcan School seen within a larger interpretive context. Like abstract expressionism, surrealism, Italian High Renaissance painting, etc., the Ashcan school is seen as a genre having a distinct set of characteristics that isolate it from the others. The critic, therefore, prior to describing Hopper's work, made the pre-selection of the Ashcan School from amongst an already existing corpus of art traditions. For what the critic wanted to accomplish, that was the genre that best described what Hopper did as a painter. However./,there is still another problem we must deal with concerning the in-terpretation of Hopper's work. Most of the interpretations we have of Hopper first appear 25 in the e a r l y th i r t ies and have been c o n s e c u t i v e l y ma in ta ined up to the present . I have argued that Hopper 's work i s , i n f a c t , ambiguous and c a n y i e l d a l t e r n a t i v e in terpretat ions -for e x a m p l e , my own e x p e r i e n c e i n go ing from a nos ta lg ic in te rp re ta t ion of G a s to one in terms of a l i e n a t i o n . Thus the meaning that has been g i v e n Hopper 's work cannot be d e r i v e d from i t . H e n c e the cons is tency of the c r i t i c a l in terpretat ions of his work cannot be under -stood as a result of the f a c t that they are a l l t a l k i n g about the same th ing because i t is the same. There is a s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l process of b u i l d i n g up a c r i t i c a l t r ad i t i on and i t is this w h i c h accounts for the cons is tency of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . C o n s i s t e n c y deve lops over t ime as the product of the work of the c r i t i c s in r e l a t i o n to Hopper , in r e l a t i o n to his work and in r e l a t i o n to one another . It was not present from the outset . Ear ly accounts of Hopper 's work d i f fe r g r e a t l y from those made af ter the a l i e n a t i o n in te rp re ta t ion had become e s t a b -l ished as a major theme. In a n n o u n c i n g the suspension of judgment on agreement w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r e m e r g -ing or estab l ished theme, I am turn ing a w a y from the current in terpretat ions of his work and am focus ing instead on the rev iewer ' s procedures for mak ing those interpretat ions poss ib le . He re are two c r i t i c a l accounts wr i t ten f o r t y - t h r e e years apar t . The f irst a c c o u n t , wr i t ten in 1972, shows how his work is c u r r e n t l y be ing in te rpreted w h i l e the second a c c o u n t is one recovered from the r e l a t i v e obscur i ty of the late 1920's . The latter does not c o i n c i d e w i t h what is c u r r e n t l y be ing wr i t ten about h i m . F i rs t , an excerp t t a k e n from J a c k Smith 's c o l u m n e n t i t l e d " A l o n e in the A u t o -m a t " , w h i c h appeared in the Seat t le T imes, Sa tu rday , A p r i l 8 , 1972: 26 " H O P P E R ' S C I T Y W A S C O L D and empty; its l i ght was harsh; its people were lost among the m i l l i o n s ; nameless and d i s e n c h a n t e d . That 's what I had read a n y w a y , and that 's what I f e l t from the things I had s e e n . I wondered i f this sense of lone l iness w o u l d seem even larger when I l ooked at the o r i g i n a l s . " ^ 0 Compare the Smith excerpt w i t h this next one w h i c h was taken from an a r t i c l e that Forbes Watson wrote for V a n i t y Fa i r in 1929 - a m a g a z i n e , le t 's not f o rge t , that was cons idered to be a s t y l e - s e t t e r on both sides of the A t l a n t i c for over 20 years . Watson does not ment ion the lone l iness and a l i e n a t i o n w h i c h i n c r e a s i n g l y came to be r e c o g n i z e d as one of Hopper 's major themes, but as we w i l l see later his a c c o u n t d i d p rov ide the bas ic f o u n d a -t i on on w h i c h later rev iews were b u i l t : "He o n c e sa id that he was s t r i v i ng to a c h i e v e the greatest possible auster i ty w i thout loss of e m o t i o n . These pa int ings are much more than austere ly s e l e c t e d p i c t o r i a l records . They have an a r c h i t e c t u r e of the i r own in the i r c o n v i n c i n g c o n c e n t r a t i o n on the a r c h i t e c t u r a l sub ject matter . The humor of these u n c l u t t e r e d structures seems sometimes to have been the w h o l e reason for the p i c t u r e . . . A l y r i c i m a g i n a t i o n , not i m m e d i a t e l y apparent because the art ist 's sense of the r i d i -cu lous o c c a s i o n a l l y obtrudes, l i f ts the art of Edward Hopper far above mere humor and w i t t y r i d i c u l e . "21 Smith 's v i e w of Hopper is cons ide rab l y d i f fe rent from that of Watson and we c a n beg in to wonder w h y ? How d i d Hopper 's pa int ings journey a l l the w a y from b e i n g c h a r a c t -e r i z e d by humor and l y r i c i s m to a p l a c e where nameless and d i senchanted peop le were lost among the m i l l i o n s ? Is i t s imp ly that the two c r i t i c s are focus ing the i r a t ten t ion on pictures from a d i f fe rent p e r i o d ? This does not appear to be the c a s e . Smith 's a r t i c l e is e n t i t l e d " A l o n e in an A u t o m a t " , a t i t l e w h i c h a l l udes to one of Hopper 's pa in t ings , Au tomat (1927) 22 w h i c h was f i rst e x h i b i t e d at the Rehn G a l l e r i e s from February 14 to M a r c h 5 , 1927. The a r t i c l e Watson wrote for V a n i t y Fa i r was done i n la te 1928 and there is e v i d e n c e to show that Watson was aware of the e x h i b i t i o n at the Rehn . Hopper wrote to Watson on December 10, 1926, t e l l i n g him that "Rehn expects to g i v e me a show in February and I am t ry ing my best to get some canvasses done before that t i m e . " 23 What is more , a f ter Watson's a r t i c l e was pub l i shed , Hopper wrote h im a g a i n in D e c e m b e r , 1928, t a k i n g issue w i t h the d e s c r i p -t i on of his own work as showing "the greatest possible auster i ty w i thout loss of e m o t i o n . " Hopper refused to take c r e d i t . "The p h r a s e . . . i s no c h i l d of mine h o w e v e r . Rehn is the real father of this c u t e y and has t r i ed to hang i t on me . It makes no d i f f e r e n c e , though , as i t l istens good in t y p e . A s we w i l l see , i t made cons ide rab le d i f f e r e n c e as t ime went b y . Smith and Watson have set the proper mood for what w i l l f o l l o w . Smith 's r e v i e w puts in a nutshel l what we w i l l be running into a l l through the course of this s tudy . Watson , on the other h a n d , has h e l p e d to d i s lodge the estab l ished in te rp re ta t ion we have of Hopper , points to how it c o u l d be other than the w a y i t is now, and recovers an a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r -pretat ion from the past. But it is necessary to push the point s t i l l fu r ther . A s I have a l r e a d y no ted , rev iews read as i f on a c o n c e p t u a l l e v e l , the e s t a b -l i shed in te rp re ta t ion of Hopper is a lways on the surface of the c a n v a s , and is mere ly w a i t i n g to be u n l o c k e d and recorded by the c r i t i c . It is i m p l i e d that the message a p a i n t i n g g ives us is a constant , and i t is s imp ly the c r i t i c ' s task to commun ica te that message to us. Fu r the r -more , once a fo rmula has been const ructed for in te rp re t ing an art ist 's w o r k , there is l i t t l e a t ten t ion g i v e n to the s o c i a l process that d e v e l o p e d the in te rp re ta t ion in the f i rst p l a c e . T a k e , for e x a m p l e , this d e s c r i p t i o n wr i t ten by Susanne Burrey in an a r t i c l e c a l l e d , "Edward Hopper : The Emptying S p a c e s " : 28 "Desertion is the usual theme of Hopper's landscapes. In Gas the attendant is busy with a pump at sunset and no car passes. The country store with its dusty placards is nakedly exposed at 7 A . M . Hostile winds blow through the streets of Weehawken; if there are inhabitants, they remain inside and a "For-Sale" sign signals the emptiness of the suburbs. "25 Here we see Burrey stressing the psychological interpretations of Hopper's work. Country stores are nakedly exposed, and the winds of Weehawken are hostile. Yet Hopper himself did not feel that there was an inherent message in the subject. On the contrary, there is evidence to show that he knew full well how people obtained their interpretations! "It's like sunsets. The people around here telling me about beautiful sunsets. It is what you add that makes them beautiful. No, the unsophisticated think there's something inherent in it (the subject). A pond with lilies or something. There isn't, of course. "26 Similarly, he once told critic Brian O'Doherty that not only was the "loneli-ness thing1 overdone, but it was the critics who gave the artist his identity: "The loneliness thing is overdone. It formulates some-thing you don't want formulated. Renoir says it well: 'The most important element in a picture cannot be de-fined' . . . cannot be explained, perhaps, is better." In trying to explain this inexplicable he denies influ-ences. "I have no influences really. I don't mean that in a conceited way. Every artist has a core of originality -a core of identity that is your own. " He refused to go further. "I don't know what my identity is. The critics give you an identity. And sometimes even, you give it a push. "27 Hopper's statements have raised yet another question. If the artist himself states that there is nothing inherent in the subject itself, that loneliness has been overdone and that it is the critic who gives the artist his identity, why then isn't this included as part of the interpretation of his work? How is it that critics continue to write as if the instructions were in Hopper's work independently of what either the artist himself has said or of the procedures the critics have used to find them with? In order to fully understand how the interpretation of Hopper's work has changed over a period of years and how the artist's own privileged interpretation of his work is ig-nored or sidestepped, we will have to take an excursion ourselves and begin to trace the development of this critical tradition from its earliest origins right up to the present time. Before we take this excursion, however, I would like to introduce one more concept which will help make the journey easier. The Narrative Painting Tradition In Hopper's case both the genre concept and the narrative painting tradition are selected for use in describing his work. The critics have made the narrative painting tradition the exclusive method of interpreting Hopper's paintings. All of Hopper's paint-ings are consigned to that interpretive tradition and it is accorded the status of being the only way to view Hopper with any chance of appreciating him. If the critics had not assigned Hopper to the narrative painting tradition, there would not have been an attempt to trace the meaning of his work as part of a sequence of events. As we will see later, this is what Edward Hopper's work depends upon in order to achieve its effect. Once the gradual establishment of an interpretation becomes recognized as the legitimate interpretation of his work, it results in several significant consequences. Current interpretations are based on a number of works that comprise a corpus of the 'essential Hopper paintings'. There has been a gradual build-up in this corpus over time. These are the paintings that embody the features of the 'essential Hopper' to the greatest degree. As a result, these are the ones continually being referred to in the reviews. Secondly, while this essential corpus is being established another phenomenon takes place simultaneously. As the framework for the essential corpus is being built up, another method is developed for relegating to the sidelines those paintings which do not fall within that corpus. The paintings that do not fall within the interpretive boundaries produced by the original corpus come to be considered as his minor works. In effect, the critics have de-veloped a tandem arrangement for the appraisal of Hopper. The procedures that are de-veloped for recognizing what the corpus is, also produces a means for knowing what the corpus is not. Now the critic can recognize paintings that comprise the 'essential Hopper' and paintings that do not; the latter should be discarded or given only minor consideration. These procedures are then passed on by the critics so that the reader too can learn to dis-tinguish between good and bad, minor and major, important and unimportant. But how is it done? To answer this question, there is another aspect that must be taken into con-sideration: the passing on of the assembly instructions so that the reader/viewer can con-stitute Hopper's work in a certain way. The general pattern has already been developed; now it is a question of how to communicate the knowledge of the distinctive features of that tradition to others. What phenomenon occurs in order to produce the interesting kind of concensus that prompts critics to assert that the message is part of the painting itself? It can be shown 31 that the object does not necessarily have a determinate message by simply looking back on earlier interpretations prior to the establishment of one specific interpretative tradition. The critics assert that the message is part of the painting itself, but I have shown that al-though the visual properties of Hopper's work may restrict the interpretive procedures which will work they do not solely determine them. We know then that the object does not in fact determine wholly/ what the critics will attribute to it. In other words, the paintings themselves do not give off a determinate message. The critics do that. The critics have created a formula for the interpretation of Hopper's work; an interpretive framework for unlocking and articulating what the meanings of his paintings are. As we read the reviews, an interpretation begins to emerge from the framework. Mean-ings are attached and fastened so as to direct the viewer's attention to certain aspects of the paintings and away from others. The formula that critics have engineered permits them to both include and exclude paintings from their established categories. If the critics did not use a narrative tradition then they would not try and trace the meaning as part of a sequence of events. Correspondingly, they would not try and teach this interpretive pro-cedure to others. Finally, if the critics did not try to trace the meaning of Hopper's work in a sequential fashion, then there would be no great need to search for a story within the boundaries of a Hopper painting. By attempting to make the structure of the painting intelligible through the narrative painting tradition, the ambiguous character of Hopper's realism is brought into sharp focus. In Gas, for example, it is difficult to determine what has happened just prior to the one frame the painting deals with or what is likely to happen next. A sequential interpretation can be applied but there is a degree of uncertainty as to whether it will be 32 "correct". The object is rendered ambiguous which in turn enables critics to constitute the paintings as lonely, alienated and timeless. By tracing the meaning of the paintings through a sequence, an ambiguity arises in the relationship to the instructions for telling a story. The message of the object is then 'up in the air'. This method of interpretation enables critics to notice Hopper's selection of time and place when nobody is about. Places or locations where we are ordinarily accustomed to seeing people are no longer populated by the typical crowds. There has been a breach in the sequential ordering of events that go to make up a story. The rules for narrative story telling and the articulation of the painting in the usual way are no longer possible given this context. The critic provides us with the traditional context and we are then deprived of the necessary 'something' to fulfill it. The critic gives us a set of instruc-tions on how to read something but his set of instructions is incomplete given the traditional framework. With this set of incomplete instructions the reader/viewer is forced to deal with the paintings in a speculative, thoughtful way. Now emphasis on psychological elements in Hopper's paintings has been made possible through the use of the narrative tradition and the 'genre'concept. As a result, adjectives that suggest a strong psychological connotation now make sense. Certain ele-ments in his paintings, such as loneliness, alienation, timelessness, a stoppage in the tradi-tional time structure, now seem more than reasonable - it is what is there! When the narrative painting tradition is selected for use in description, it means there is no formal outlet for thoughts about other possibilities that are also available, but not made explicit. It would certainly have made an immense difference in the way Hopper is currently viewed if his work had been initially interpreted through another tradition, such as abstract expressionism or surrealism. In abstract expressionism, for instance, the psychological considerations would be toned down in order to give more attention to the colors Hopper used, or geometric con-siderations such as his application of design and his use of parallel and horizontal lines. As to the question of whether Hopper's paintings would restrict such an interpretation and make it impossible to assign abstract expressionism procedures to his work, the reader will be advised to look at Parker Tyler's, "The Loneliness of The Crowd And The Loneliness of the Universe: An Antiphonal". In the review Tyler makes comparisons between Jackson Pollock, considered by many to be one of the leading abstract expressionists, and Edward Hopper. The psychological considerations are still present, but Tyler has also given at-tention to "geometric variety", "modulation of volumes", and "light whose horizontal ity / creates strict vertical separations of shadow". 28 The visual properties of Hopper's paintings restricted the kinds of interpretive procedures which would work for them. They did not determine them totally. The stories that the critics produced about Hopper's art were influenced and determined by how the objects were organized for description. Those descriptions ran along a continuum from very abstract to very detailed analysis. In what follows, I will show several examples from this continuum. Some will be descriptive accounts limiting themselves to the basic physical properties of the paintings, such as size of canvas and materials used in painting; other ac-counts will describe motifs and prominent features in and sometimes out of the paintings, while others will describe Hopper's paintings in a speculative fashion, wrenching fantastic fictions from them. Other methods will be discussed as well. They include description in a narrative mode - describing what story is taking place within a work, making speculative 34 or prophetic statements about events that the paintings allude to; or by using special bio-graphical knowledge about Edward Hopper himself, some reveal what the artist's own moti-vational intention was relating to a specific work in question. Most of the interpretations we have of Hopper first appeared in the early thirties and have been consecutively maintained up to the present. But we have seen that this was not always the case. Furthermore, in order for the psychological elements of his paintings to be articulated, those elements needed a specific context in order to be under-stood in that way. Therefore, Hopper's paintings have undergone a change in how they are interpreted. In showing people how to look at the paintings a new and variant interpretive procedure was introduced and developed by the critics. In this chapter I have discussed the genre concept and introduced the reader to the narrative painting tradition. There is still more to be learned about the narrative painting tradition, however, and I turn my attention to that next. 35 III The Construction and Establishment of the Interpretive Tradition "The nature of the brain is such that we see what we have seen before, and what we have a name for. We are blind to things to which we have not been properly introduced." Robert N . Buck Weather Flying I The Narrative Painting Tradition : Main Sequence Oi l painting of the kind that Edward Hopper became famous for carries with it a lot of mental baggage. The aforementioned genre which the critics assigned both to his paintings and the Ashcan School was the narrative painting tradition. Both the Ashcan School and Hopper's paintings are classified as part of the narrative painting tradition. For what the critics chose to accomplish, that genre is the one that best seems to characterize his style of work. Once Hopper was firmly established in his own right, the Ashcan interpretation was dropped or shown to be a point of differen-tiation between himself and the school. Hopper had by then been brought under the struc-turing effect of an established interpretive practice; consequently, there was no longer a need to rely heavily on the Ashcan interpretation. The narrative painting tradition was the important plug-in for the critics. It is through this pre-existing category that Hopper's work is interpreted in terms of the human values to be found there. The psychological elements within the paintings, Hopper's theme of alienation and loneliness, his abstract personality types, and the last of interaction bet-ween actors in the paintings, only becomes relevant when you are told to view his paintings 36 in terms of the narrative painting tradition. This tradition is what locates the paintings for the critic. A set of relationships which had not been previously recognizable are now transmitted to our awareness through the critic's reviews as a lack of expression of joy, optimism, or humor, and Hopper's selection of settings when nobody is about has now been interpreted as 'timelessness'. In the narrative painting tradition, story-telling is the primary goal. An artist organizes his material in such a way as to accomplish that act. The Glossary of Modern Art defines narrative painting as follows: "An extreme form of description or literary art which serves to tell a story or illustrate an incident as, for example, in much late 19th century painting in England. The term, although often contemptuously applied, aptly describes many works of considerable artistic merit such as Hogarth's 'Marriage a la Monde', the Bayeux Tapestry and certain Egyptian and Babylonian Friezes."29 | r j s a'rype of painting which flourished in the nineteenth century, it relies on anecdotal subject matter to create interest* The title is an important part of the whole: 'Last Day in the Old Home' by Martineau and 'When did You Last See Your Father?1 by William Frederick Yeames as examples. "^O Ray-mond Lister described Martineau's "The Last Day in the Old Home (1862) as follows: "Another sermon against drink and gambling, and on the goodness of woman contrasted with the foolishness of man. The old family seat, Hardham Court (its name is on the catalogue lying on the floor), is about to be sold up to pay for the gambling debts of the heir to the estate, here seen raising his glass of champagne, his other arm on the shoulder of his son, who is already being taught by his father to gamble and drink. In the man's hand is a racing notebook, with racehorses on its cover, and a picture of a racehorse stands against the cupboard on the left. The wife, who has been weeping, holds out an appealing, res-training hand, while her mother-in-law, weeping bitterly, hands over her keys and last few possessions to the agent, 37 "who takes them w i t h a l l the tac t he c a n muster. The The l i t t l e g i r l looks at her s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y . . . " 31 The nar ra t i ve p a i n t i n g is a form where the mate r ia l is representat iona l w i t h  the i n ten t ion of see ing the pa in t i ng as part of a sequence of events . A n extreme examp le of this w o u l d be W i l l i a m Powe l l F r i th 's "The Road to R u i n " (1887) series where "In This V i c t o r i a n ve rs ion of "The Rake 's Progress" , F r i th ' takes us through f i v e episodes i n the d o w n -f a l l , through g a m b l i n g , of a young man of f o r t u n e " . ^ The pa int ings are o r g a n i z e d so they w i l l present a p l o t , i . e . , g i v e cues to a v i e w e r so that he c a n determine what has t a k e n p l a c e just pr ior to what the paint ings now d e a l w i t h or what w i l l happen next as a consequence of what is t a k i n g p l a c e i n the one frame of the p a i n t i n g . N a r r a t i v e paint ings requ i re the presence of c e r t a i n component parts i n order for them to be r e c o g n i z e d as a s tory . Even the s implest nar rat ives c o n t a i n a rud imentary se t t i ng in space and t i m e , a p lot l i n e of some k i n d , and the cas t i ng or c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of ob jects i n c e r t a i n s p e c i f i c w a y s . . O f course the const ruct ion of the na r ra t i ve c a n t a k e many forms, va ry w i d e l y , and not necessar i l y possess a l l the components to the same d e g r e e . Everyone w o u l d r e c o g n i z e the d i f f e r e n c e between Tom Jones and the G i n g e r b r e a d M a n . A n d a l though they are both q u i t e d i f fe rent in terms of length and the degree to w h i c h they have been a c -corded l i t e ra ry mer i t , e a c h of them conta ins c e r t a i n properties that enab le them to be c o n -s idered stories about someth ing . Both have a b e g i n n i n g , a m i d d l e , and an e n d . Both d e a l w i t h the ma in c h a r a c t e r as he journeys on the r o a d , both are c o n c e r n e d w i t h peop le and p laces the main c h a r a c t e r meets a l o n g the w a y . Furthermore, the r e c o g n i t i o n of the na r ra t i ve genre as a set of i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o -cedures exists as part of a shared common e x p e r i e n c e . This shared group of v i s u a l v o c a b u l a r i e s 38 is commonly understood by ar t is ts , c r i t i c s , and v iewers a l i k e . These v i s u a l v o c a b u l a r i e s are analogous to the words i n a w r i t t e n message where the reader must know how to d e c o d e the message i f he is a b l e to understand what i t means. S i m i l a r l y these v i s u a l v o c a b u l a r i e s are every b i t as c o m p l i c a t e d as a wr i t ten language and i n c l u d e the necessary procedures for how to d is t ingu ish the d i f f e r e n c e between a past, the h i s t o r i c a l present d e p i c t e d in the paint ings n o w , and the f u t u r e . For the art ist these v i sua l v o c a b u l a r i e s are his method of express ion ; his means of t e l l i n g a story to his a u d i e n c e . These v o c a b u l a r i e s mani fest themselves i n the art ist 's a b i l i t y to o r g a n i z e mater ia l in to story form so that one moment or one episode in the story's progression c a n be c o n v e y e d . The art ist c a n be seen as a i m i n g toward the nar ra t i ve genre when there is an agreement between what he in tended to be s e e n , on the one h a n d , and a set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures that w i l l o r g a n i z e and assemble v i s u a l propert ies in to a s t o r y -t e l l i n g s e q u e n c e , on the o the r . Let me e x h i b i t a genera l i l l u s t r a t i o n of the s t o r y - t e l l i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w h i c h are r e c o g n i z a b l e (by me) as a common feature of the nar ra t i ve p a i n t i n g t r a d i t i o n and show how there c a n be an agreement be tween my understanding of a set of procedures that o r g a n i z e and assemble v i sua l propert ies in to a s t o r y - t e l l i n g sequence and what the art ist h imsel f i n tended to be s e e n . In an e a r l i e r draft of this work I had s e l e c t e d W i n s l o w Homer 's The G u l f Stream as an examp le of the na r ra t i ve pa in t i ng t r a d i t i o n , showing how i t was that the nar ra t i ve p r o -cedure w o r k e d . I descr ibed The G u l f Stream i n the f o l l o w i n g w a y : " W i n s l o w Homer 's The G u l f Stream i l lus t rates n i c e l y what I have been t a l k i n g a b o u t . In v i e w i n g that w o r k , one b e -gins to ask c e r t a i n questions regard ing what is t a k i n g p l a c e on the c a n v a s . H o w , for examp le d i d that N e g r o get w a y out in the m i d d l e of the G u l f S t r e a m ? W h y is his boat w r e c k e d ? W i l l the s a i l i n g - s h i p on the ho r i zon see him and rescue h i m , or w i l l the a p p r o a c h i n g water spout c a p s i z e his b o a t ? A n d what about a l l those sharks? A r e they go ing to eat h i m ? See what I m e a n ? If i t was a mot ion p ic tu re se r ia l this w o u l d be the t ime to f lash ' c o n t i n u e d next w e e k ' on the s c r e e n " . 33 Later I was read ing through some books on natural h istory for my o w n enjoyment and I ran across the f o l l o w i n g statement w r i t e n by Homer himself : " W i n s l o w Homer 's famous canvas The G u l f S t r e a m . Contemporary c r i t i c i s m of the p ic tu re was undu ly harsh, so Homer wrote the f o l l o w i n g to a dea le r : 'The c r i t i c i s m of The G u l f Stream by o l d women and others are n o t e d . Y o u may inform these peop le that the N e g r o d i d not starve to d e a t h . He was not eaten by sharks . The waterspout d i d not h i t h i m . A n d he was rescued by a passing sh ip w h i c h is not shown in the p i c t u r e . 1 " 34 What I f i n d in te rest ing about my o r i g i n a l remarks is that they are w e l l w i t h i n the boundar ies of a na r ra t i ve t r a d i t i o n that f i rst r e c e i v e d Homer's work for v i e w i n g . The s i g n i f i c a n c e of my ins ights , as an a c c u r a t e desc r ip t i on of what is go ing on in that p a i n t i n g , Is 5. un impor tant . What is important is that there is an agreement be tween my i n te rp re t i ve procedures and those that Homer himsel f i n t e n d e d . The G u l f Stream as a p a i n t i n g has s t o r y -t e l l i n g propert ies i n i t . I was v i e w i n g the p a i n t i n g in a fash ion s i m i l a r to peop le a t tempt ing to make that p a r t i c u l a r work i n t e l l i g i b l e through the na r ra t i ve t r a d i t i o n . For the c r i t i c and v i e w e r , on the other h a n d , there are many sets of v i sua l v o c a b u lar ies a v a i l a b l e for v i e w i n g what exists w i t h i n the formal propert ies of a p a i n t i n g . We_co.uld c a l l this the s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n of l o o k i n g . There are a series of l eve ls to this o r g a n i z a t i o n , some more c o m p l e x than I i n tend to d e a l w i t h i n this thes is . O n e l e v e l of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , for e x a m p l e , is the work done by peop le l i k e G i l l i e s or A r n h e i m . ^ A l e v e l of study that e x a -mines the c o - o r d i n a t i o n of eye movement w i t h p a i n t i n g or the r e l a t i o n s h i p in space of the surfaces of o b j e c t s . This study admits that there are these leve ls to the s o c i a l and p s y c h o -l o g i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n of l o o k i n g . A desc r ip t i on of how these var ious leve ls of l o o k i n g in te rac t w i t h one another i n our pe rcept ion is work that needs to be done i n order to d e t e r -mine the ef fects the p a r t i c u l a r leve ls have i n c o m b i n a t i o n . That work goes beyond the scope of this e x a m i n a t i o n . I am d e a l i n g w i t h the l e v e l that c o u l d be regarded as s o c i o l o g i c a l . That i s , the l e v e l where this process is learned and how i t is c o m m u n i c a t e d . C o n s e q u e n t l y , the l e v e l that concerns us here is the one w h i c h a l l o w s for v i e w i n g the v i sua l v o c a b u l a r i e s of the pa in t i ng w i t h i n a nar ra t i ve f ramework . O n e of the problems assoc ia ted w i t h the i n te rp re ta t ion of p a i n t i n g is that for so many of us, we were f i rst i n t roduced to art through the na r ra t i ve p a i n t i n g t r a d i t i o n . O n e o n l y has to remember his or her f a v o r i t e c h i l d r e n ' s book w i t h the large na r ra t i ve paint ings and the a c c o m p a n y i n g text to see my p o i n t . To name the f i rst examp le that comes to m i n d , take the work of the i l l us t ra tor N . C . W y e t h for S c r i b n e r s . His i l l us t ra t ions for Treasure Is land , The B l a c k A r r o w , K i d n a p p e d , and The Last of the M o h i c a n s seemed to be as much a part of the text as what e i the r Stevenson or C o o p e r had w r i t t e n . Indeed , i n my own c a s e , I c a n remember l o o k i n g at W y e t h ' s p ictures long before I ever got around to a c t u a l l y r e a d -ing the books themselves . The problem we are harnessed w i t h is what M a u r i c e N a t a n s o n has c a l l e d , " the h i s to r i ca l w e i g h t of assoc ia t ion" .3° In other words , the i l l u m i n a t i o n of expression does 41 not lie simply in the visible but in a unity of meaningful relationships and information that the viewer brings to the painting when he views it. If paintings are viewed using the same procedures that would be applied in looking at a favorite children's book then there will be a difficulty in "seeing anything in" an artist's work without an accompanying text. It takes social practice to do it and it is a procedure that must be learned. When we are separated from a story that we associate with paintings it requires a new set of interpretive procedures before a painting can be seen in an isolated context. The ability to understand a painting within the frame of the narrative tradition implies a commonly understood social structure. Narrative exists as a pre-existing category for both my sociological research and the critical description of art. The procedures I use to assemble and interpret my data are not essentially different from those who I am studying. In her paper on mental illness Smith noted a similar phenomenon in regard to how a woman came to be defined as mentally ill by her friends. What Smith was seeking to explain had already been structured by the interpretations and characterizations of those she was studying. "That structure is an essential feature of the phenomena, not something added to it which she must strip away to get at 'how things really are'. Moreover the procedures she uses to assemble and interpret her data are not essentially different from those that lay actors use in bringing about the phenomena which become her data. What she so uses has already been worked up for purposes which have usually nothing to do with hers. In the construction of her data, others have been busy. The process of transforming social action into sociological data 37 must be recognized as a joint, though not ordinarily purposefully concerted, activity." If the narrative framework is used for interpreting the painting, then the paint-ing is seen as one moment in a story. Using this method of interpretation the painting is 42 viewed with a prior knowledge of what has happened just before the one moment the paint-ing deals with, or what will happen next as a consequence of the one moment in the paint-ing. This is done because the critic and the viewer both know how to see something as part of a story. They both know that interpretive procedure method of interpreting a painting. In the actual staging of the narrative tradition the artist lays out the material so that the techniques for traditional story-telling can be applied to the painting easily. There is the title which bears a close connection with the subject, thereby providing imp-ortant clues for how the painting should be interpreted. Furthermore, there is something taking place within the painting. There is either (1) completed action which is the result of something that has happened offstage and is now culminated within the one frame that the painting deals with, or (2) incomplete action pointing towards a completion in the future. FIGURE O N E Slot A Slot B Slot C Past Painting Future Slot B = The Painting's Now It is t this middle frame that the artist deals with . How he handles this slot is what con-cerns us here. Being able to recognize something as being part of a story already exists as an interpretive frame. The interpretive procedures are then made available to the critic or the viewer who have this pre-knowledge of what those procedures are for picking out a story. In this sense the narrative painting is similar to the motion picture where the 43 techn iques of c inematography are a p p l i e d . M a r s h a l l M c L u h a n has c a l l e d i t " the ree l w o r l d . " She ldon Twer states that "It may be that peop le know that sometimes what h a p -pens in a d e p i c t e d momentary scene is perhaps understandable or c a n be made unders tand -38 a b l e by l o c a t i n g the longer scene in w h i c h i t is a p a r t . " Twer is t a l k i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y about photographs, though i t app l i es to the a c t i v i t i e s of the c r i t i c s as w e l l when he says , " A photograph scene begins and ends w i t h i n the b r ie f per iod that the lens aperature is o p e n , yet e l i c i t s descr ip t ions whi c h seem to necessa r i l y i n c l u d e an ex tended per iod of t i m e . " ^ S i m i l a r l y , H a r o l d G a t t y , who is p robab ly best known for his attempt at c o m i n g up w i t h n o n -instrumental ways to n a v i g a t e the open seas, revea ls a method he has found to be useful in his own research invest igat ions : "I o f ten p lay the photograph ana lys is game . It is a m a z i n g how much the problems of i d e n t i f y i n g a photograph w i thout capt ions adds to its interest and improves one's own powers of p e r c e p t i o n and d e d u c t i o n . The photograph ceases to be a photograph and becomes instead a story . " W e know a l r e a d y that the genre c o n c e p t and the nar ra t i ve pa in t i ng t r a d i t i o n are a v a i l a b l e as the i n i t i a l s tar t ing points for cons t i tu t i ng a s p e c i f i c features of Hopper 's p a i n t -i n g , thereby ass ign ing a s p e c i a l status to c e r t a i n determinate features in the p a i n t i n g . U s i n g those two categor ies as s tar t ing po ints , i t is then a s imple step for the c r i t i c to beg in to o r -g a n i z e and descr ibe his a c c o u n t around what has happened i n the p a i n t i n g , what is h a p p e n -ing in the p a i n M n g , or what is about to happen next i n the p a i n t i n g . When there is a c o n j u n c t i o n between the art ist and those who v i e w his work such that the i n t e r p r e t i v e procedures they use are the same as those that the art ist i n tends , then an a r t i s t i c t r a d i t i o n ex is ts . 44 The narrative painting tradition as a set of communication procedures for both artist and viewer can be formulated as follows: (1) Within the paintings'formal properties the artist has provided images necessary for extending the story out onto a larger panorama of past, of future; out be-yond the one frame that the picture deals with. (2) People viewing the painting are in possession of a common set of interpretive procedures sufficiently similar to those of the artist so that they can analyze its images as a moment in a story of the same kind as the artist intends. (3) The viewer's procedures for seeing a painting within the narrative traditions are a stable set of socially established procedures which can be learned and applied to other visual structures; paintings, photographs, cartoons, certain sculpture - objects which can be seen as incorporating literary or iconographi-cal meaning into their structures. II The Narrative Painting Tradition : Modified Sequence Instructions for interpretation are not wholly contained within the paintings. It is never true that the instructions are implicit within a thing. The instructions are learned. In his painting, the artist may aim at a given type of interpretive procedure, but paintings do not completely "determine" how they are to be interpreted. Nor for that matter does any other document. It takes practice at looking at something within the proper context. Persian carpets which we see as a decorative item that can add a touch of color to 45 a l i v i n g room f l o o r , were o r i g i n a l l y "pat terned after the ground p lan of a l i t t l e p r i va te p l e a -sure garden or pa rad ise . The Persian term for the background design i n these carpets means ' e a r t h ' . The carpet ' s border is a c a n a l w i t h i n w h i c h is a formal arrangement of p lants , trees I c l „ 4 0 and f lowers . Paint ings are a form of document w i t h a degree of permanence to them. A s in the case of the Persian c a r p e t , the o r i g i n a l i n te rp re ta t ion assigned to a p a i n t i n g c a n come apart from that document and be lost . The art ist who makes a p a i n t i n g d ies but his work exists long af ter he is g o n e . The permanence of the document takes p recedence over the l i f e span of the i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t . That is how the two of them come apa r t . O n c e the ar t isan is no longer a v a i l a b l e for comment , the wrong procedures c a n be a p p l i e d to his w o r k , as is of ten the case when art from the past is in te rpreted by current standards. N e w a r t i s t i c forms a im at i n te rp re t i ve procedures w h i c h are not ye t estab l ished to many v i e w e r s . In this sense, c r i t i c s are very important in es tab l i sh ing for an art ist what set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures w i l l a p p l y to his w o r k . If, for i n s t a n c e , art is meant to be "mere ly d e c o r a t i v e " a procedure has to be learned for see ing i t i n that w a y . In his essay, "The K a n d y - K o l o r e d T a n g e r i n e - F l a k e S t r e a m l i n e B a b y " , Tom W o l f e g ives his reader a set of instruct ions w h i c h transform G e o r g e Barris from an a u t o - b o d y m e c h a n i c to a scu lptor : Barris starts t a k i n g me through Kustom C i t y , and the p l a c e looks l i k e any other body shop at f i r s t , but pretty soon you r e a l i z e you ' re in a g a l l e r y . This p l a c e is f u l l of cars such as you have never seen b e f o r e . H a l f of them w i l l never touch the r o a d . They ' re put on trucks and t ra i l e rs and c a r t e d a l l over the count ry to be e x h i b i t e d at h o t - r o d and c u s t o m - c a r shows. T h e y ' l l r u n , i f i t comes to that - t hey ' re fu l l , of b i g , p o w e r f u l , h o p p e d -up ch romep la ted motors, because a l l that speed and power , and a l l that l o v e l y apparatus , has tremendous emot iona l mean ing to everybody i n c u s t o m i z i n g . But i t ' s l i k e one of these Picasso or M i r o rugs. Y o u don ' t walk on the damn things. You hang them on the wall. It's the same thing with Barris1 cars. In effect, they're sculpture. ^ In section one of this chapter, I defined narrative painting as telling a story. That is its chief purpose and reason for being. Here is how the narrative painting tradition can be applied to a Hopper paint-ing. In this standard application of the narrative tradition a hook-up is made between the painting^ now and the anticipation of a future event. When Time Magazine interviewed both Hopper and his wife this is the inter-pretation she gave to the painting Cape Cod Morning (1950): "It's a woman looking out to see if the weather's AO good enough to hang out her wash." Knowing as we now do Hopper's preference for working with the idea of incomp-lete instruction, it is not surprising to see the manner in which Hopper took issue with that interpretation: "Did I say that?", Hopper rumbles in contradiction. "You're making it Ncrman Rockwell. From my point of view she's just looking out the window, just look-ing out the window. What I wanted to illustrate here was Cape Cod Morning's ability to generate two different accounts. There are, of course, other things going on in that review. For example the way Mrs. Hopper's statement is arranged in written order, the critic can show that Hop-per himself did not agree with his wife's interpretation and therefore the viewer himself should not try to apply interpretive procedures that would give him an explicit story. 47 In C a p e C o d M o r n i n g i t is possible to come to rest on an i n te rp re ta t ion o n l y to be t o l d that i t was not c o r r e c t . It is not a woman l o o k i n g out to see i f the weather ' s good enough to hang out her w a s h . G o i n g further we c o u l d s a y , i t is not a woman l o o k i n g out the w i n d o w to see i f the weather 's good enough to go on a p i c n i c , i t is not a woman l o o k i n g out the w i n d o w to see i f the weather 's good enough to observe sun spot a c t i v i t y . W e c a n c o n t i n u e mak ing these kinds of in terpretat ions but we w i l l never know for sure . The art ist h imsel f then t e l l s us that she is just l o o k i n g out the w i n d o w , just l o o k i n g out the w i n d o w . In a p p l y i n g the c o n c e p t to the work of Edward Hopper , however , there is a need to modi fy the d e f i n i t i o n s l i g h t l y in order that i t c a n be r e c o g n i z e d as a d i s t i n c t i v e set of i n - te rp ret ive procedures , d i f f e r i n g from the st r ic t s t o r y - t e l l i n g d e f i n i t i o n . W e also saw in the f i rst s e c t i o n that one of the ways c r i t i c s w i l l establ ish a set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures for an art ist is by subsuming his work w i t h i n the boundar ies of an e x i s t i n g t r a d i t i o n . Interpret ing a pa in t i ng w i t h i n the nar ra t i ve t rad i t i on i nvo l ves l o c a t i n g the pa in t i ng in a na r ra t i ve sequence so tha t , for e x a m p l e , in Hopper 's p a i n t i n g , C a p e C o d Even ing (1939) we w o u l d a t tend to what the dog in the pa in t i ng is l o o k i n g t o w a r d , or the d i r e c t i o n the man and the woman are l o o k i n g i n , where they are coming f rom, or what they w i l l l i k e l y do n e x t . But there is strong e v i d e n c e to show that Hopper worked at p l a y i n g down the s t o r y - t e l l i n g or o n - g o i n g q u a l i t i e s of his p a i n t i n g . O n e procedure he had for a c c o m p l i s h i n g this was to g i v e his paint ings t i t l es that d i d not i n v o k e concep t ions of a s tory . "Hopper p r e -fers the t i t l e , 1 C a p e C o d Even ing ' (1939 ) to its s t o r y - t e l l i n g a l t e r n a t i v e , ' W h i p p o o r w i l l ' , just as W i n s l o w Homer preferred ' H a l i b u t F i s h i n g ' to 'The fog W a r n i n g ' . ^ G i v e n these k inds of i ns t ruct ions , we are o n l y a b l e to see the dog i n C a p e C o d Evening as turn ing his h e a d , we are o n l y a b l e to see the man and woman as s tar ing off i n to 48 s p a c e . W e are b e g i n n i n g to v i e w the pa in t ing in a s l i g h t l y a l t e r e d w a y . This new p r o c e d -ure con f ines the a c t i o n of the p ic tu re to the p ic tu re i t s e l f , whereas the nar ra t i ve procedures r e l a t e d i t to what went on beforehand or what w i l l l i k e l y come a f terwards . Je rsy Pe lc c a n h e l p us he re . He makes the f o l l o w i n g d i s t i n c t i o n between the two types of nar rat ion we are d e a l i n g w i t h . A c c o r d i n g to h i m , one of the ways na r ra t i ve types are c l a s s i f i e d is whether they refer to events or to th ings . "Stor ies are t o l d about events and things are d e s c r i b e d . . . A d e s c r i p t i o n , i . e . , the other v a r i a t i o n of a na r ra t i ve i n the broader sense of the te rm, is a statis representat ion of persons, th ings , s i t ua t i ons , b a c k -grounds of events . When d e s c r i b i n g , the narrator stops the progress of the p lot , , when t e l l -i ng a story he sets the plot in m o t i o n . Both the na r ra t i ve and d e s c r i p t i v e techn iques become immediate i n v e s t i g a t i v e problems for anyone interested in an e x a m i n a t i o n of the procedures used by the c r i t i c s i n the w r i t i n g of the i r r e v i e w s . Desp i te w e l l - m e a n i n g c la ims of t ry ing to a v o i d a t r a d i t i o n a l a p p r o a c h , as long as someone cont inues to descr ibe whfat he h imsel f sees in a pa in t i ng i t r e -mains part of the mechanism for susta in ing the c o n v e n t i o n a l app roach to art c r i t i c i s m . The reader is reminded that this ana lys is is not in terested in the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the c r i t i c s ' i n d i -v i d u a l ins ights , but in what l ies beh ind the i r a b i l i t y to say the things they d o . In order to grasp a c o n c r e t e understanding of where the i r unquest ioned i n te rp re t i ve assum ptions o r i g i n a t e f r om, it is necessary to d e v e l o p a procedure whereby I c a n a v o i d the i r p a r t i c u l a r i n te rp re t i ve t rad i t i on a l t o g e t h e r . But to see a pa in t i ng d i f f e r e n t l y than how i t is c u r r e n t l y v i e w e d is more d i f f i c u l t than one might i m a g i n e . W e ra re l y see the pa int ings i n an i s o l a t e d p o s i t i o n . I n -d e e d , we ra re l y see the pa int ings themselves outs ide of g a l l e r i e s , or the reproduct ions we encounter in magaz ines or p ic tu re post c a r d s . In the g a l l e r y we are i n f l u e n c e d by the ta lk of the v iewers or by the statements of the tour g u i d e . M a g a z i n e and post c a r d companies 49 have the i r staffs of b lurb wr i te rs . A l l these go to make up a smal l port ion of the t r a d i t i o n . O f t e n the i r i n f l u e n c e on us is so s l i gh t that i t is d i f f i c u l t to suppose that they have had any e f fect at a l l . But l i k e the c r i t i c s themselves who have been i n f l u e n c e d by them, they a l l p lay the i r parts in h e l p i n g to establ ish a t rad i t i on f i r m l y in our minds . Beg inn ing w i t h the Lewis Mumfo rd r e v i e w in 1933, c r i t i c s i n t roduced a method of in te rp re t ing Hopper 's work that d i f f e red from a s t r ic t s t o r y - t e l l i n g n a r r a t i v e . A t this point we beg in to see a d e f i n i t e m o d i f i c a t i o n i n the c h o i c e of a t t i t u d e toward the sub ject matter . This change moved away from d e s c r i b i n g his work in a s t r ic t na r ra t i ve sense w i t h its emphasis on representat iona l forms thot a f f e c t e d a c t i o n , and moved towards a desc r ip t i on of s i t u a t i o n a l ep isodes . Desp i te some d i f fe rences of o p i n i o n amongst the c r i t i c s e a r l y i n Hopper 's c a r e e r , by 1933 , he was b e g i n n i n g to be grounded q u i t e f i r m l y in a p a r t i c u l a r e x -p l a n a t i o n . There ex i s ted a set of standards for v i e w i n g Hopper , i . e . , the p r e - e x i s t i n g c a t e -gor ies of genre and n a r r a t i v e , the auster i ty i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and a l l were star t ing to be drawn upon as the means of de te rmin ing what Hopper 'should b e ' . This next a c c o u n t , wr i t ten by Lewis Mumford , .demonst ra tes the po int w e l l . M u m -ford does not d raw upon the themes of lone l iness and a l i e n a t i o n that w o u l d la ter come to be r e c o g n i z e d as a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c feature of Hopper 's w o r k , but he does beg in to a p p l y the a l -ready e x i s t i n g pattern for i n te rp re ta t ion : " S o , Hoppe r , in the work of the lost d e c a d e has caught one phase of A m e r i c a , its lone l iness and its v i sua l e x h i l a r a t i o n : the lonel iness of even o c c u p i e d homes, the e x h i l a r a t i o n of even mean cot tages and the sord id tenements when the sun s l i c e s through the crysta l a i r and makes w e l c o m e the horr id form for the c o l o r i t revea ls under Hopper 's s k i l f u l h a n d . So good is Hopper at t rans f igur ing our v i sua l sins and cr imes in to g r a p h i c v i r tues that he looks for noth ing e l s e . The resu l t , for one t h i n g , is that he has lost his ho ld on the human f i g u r e , the peop le in his restaurant i n -t e r i o r , his hotel bedroom, his barbershop, are not as rea l as the f u r n i t u r e . His l i m i t e d v i s i o n is g o o d , but i t is not e n o u g h . This f i x e d focus and this s p e c i a l c h o i c e of sub ject have l i m i t e d the pa inter who was s t i l l l a tent i n the Hopper of f i f t e e n years a g o . " ^ 50 This somewhat prophetic description demonstrates that there already existed a rudimentary method for measuring Hopper's art. Although Mumford's account is not 'a per-fectly developed example', a pattern is beginning to show itself. Mumford, for instance, uses the modified narration sequence if only for his own purposes of prediction when he says, 'the loneliness of even occupied homes',or 'the people in his restaurant interior, his hotel bedroom, his barbershop, are not as real as the furniture.' Later on, the critics would notice this same feature and imply that it was an intended touch rather than a mistake. Finally, we can see that Mumford establishes a setting for events to take place in, has de-vised a plot so that he can characterize the objects within the paintings in a certain way and, although he does not mention loneliness to the extent that later critics would, he does mention it at some length. Hopper was beginning to be seen as innovating; yet for the larger public, they were having trouble 'seeing anything in' his paintings because the interpretive practices they were using belonged to the main sequence of the narrative painting tradition. As the Mum-ford example shows, what the critics began doing at this point was providing their audiences with a new set of viewing instructions that would allow for a slightly modified interpretive pro-cedure. For example, here is how Horace Gregory provides his audience with a new set of interpretive procedures. He first points to the difficulty people have had in seeing any-thing in Hopper's work when he writes: "MANY PEOPLE believe that Edward Hopper isn't an artist at al l . His non-spectacular realism offends them and they are willing to read into his restraint an actual lack of emo-tion, an inability to look behind the architecture, sunlight, wind and sky that he sets before us." G r e g o r y then te l l s his r e a d e r / v i e w e r w h i c h set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures should not be a p p l i e d to Hopper when he says: "I th ink that Hopper 's r e l a t i o n s h i p to his immediate c o n -temporar ies , R o c k w e l l K e n t , C o l e m a n and S l o a n , is of the most s u p e r f i c i a l o rder , and that by d i r e c t compar ison w i t h them i t is possible to mis interpret his i n ten t ions , to underrate the q u a l i t y of his rea l ism and to a t t a c k him for not be ing a m y s t i c . " ^ F i n a l l y , M r . G r e g o r y g ives his a u d i e n c e a new set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures for v i e w i n g Hopper 's work and i l lust rates them by po in t ing to pa int ings where this new set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures w i l l most l i k e l y work: "He has proved for our genera t ion at least that honesty need not be a c c o m p a n i e d by dul lness or i n a d e q u a t e l y expressed i n t e n t i o n s . His sense of an A m e r i c a n r e a l i t y i nc ludes s o l i d craf tsmanship and the art of redes ign ing a r c h i t e c t u r a l masses in to coherent f o rm . If his A m e r i c a o f ten seems br ight and empty , ve ry w e l l , we must grant him the r ight to interpret what he sees, whether i t is the l ighthouse at Two Lights or the harsh in te r io r of a hotel b e d r o o m . " 49 G r e g o r y ' s ro le as mediator be tween Hopper and the p u b l i c is f a i r l y c l e a r in this e x a m p l e . In this c a s e , G r e g o r y was not requ i red to br ing Hopper 's work in under an estab l ished i n t e r p r e t i v e p r a c t i c e for that a l r e a d y ex i s ted w i t h the assoc ia t ion to K e n t , C o l e m a n and S l o a n . What he does beg in to do in his r e v i e w , though , is d e v e l o p for the r e a d e r / v i e w e r a new and v a r i e n t i n t e r p r e t i v e procedure that w i l l show peop le how to look at Hopper 's pa int ings w i t h a n e w l y assigned set of v a l u e s . F i n a l l y , he i n i t i a t e s the sort ing process by showing the r e a d e r / v i e w e r w h i c h pa int ings this new set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures w i l l a p p l y t o . 52 . The development of a modified procedure for interpreting Hopper opened up the possibility of another set of varient interpretations for viewing his work. Although one modified procedure finally became recognizable as the method for interpreting Hopper's paintings, alternative frameworks were suggested but, somehow, did not become established. Here is how Douglas Denniston described Edward Hopper's work for a University of Arizona exhibition catalog: "There is one requirement to the understanding of his work, however, and that requirement is this: There can be no formu-la for art in the mind of anyone who wishes to find the meaning of Hopper's work. Those who insist on a stereotype for the art they will accept ^cubist, surrealist, abstract expressionist, magic realist,pop, and the like) will need to exclude Hopper's paint-ings. He is related not to any narrow category but rather to the great tradition of Western painting which has been concerned with an image in space. He has accepted the difficulties of continuing with great tradition and, as a result, his work has all the strength of tradition." 50 Although Denniston's interpretation never caught on it still exists as a possible future resource for critics who would want to be in a position to write something about Hopper which W H S original and different from, say, the work of Lloyd Goodrich. Denniston accomp-lishes two things when he says "Those who insist on a stereotype for the art they accept (cubist surrealist, abstract expressionist, magic realist,pop, and the like) will need to exclude Hopper's paintings." First, he informs a reader as to which interpretive procedures will not fit property in making an interpretation so should therefore be ^discarded -t and, secondly, by differentiating Hopper's work from the other interpretations Denniston provides a means for locating the work in a different tradition. Furthermore, the line, "He has accepted the difficulties of continuing the great tradition and as a result his work has all the strength of tradition", may lead a reader to i discover one set of meanings rather than another. 53 This leads us back to the statement made by Jack Smith in the last chapter. Not only does Smith's statement, "That's what I had read, anyway, and that's what I felt from the things I had seen. I wondered if this sense of loneliness would seem even larger when I looked at the originals," parallel my own experience of being influenced by what I had read but it also shows how the alternative interpretation frames, selects, and assembles the features of the painting differently than they had been viewed before the modified narrative sequence was introduced. This modification in interpretive procedures focused attention on the situational episode rather than an on-going story. It is by assigning Edward Hopper to the narrative painting tradition and then introducing this modification in interpretive procedures that the specific ambiguity arises with respect to his paintings. In this procedure, the on-going nar-rative character of the picture is now stopped and a build-up of description begins. Further-more, this kind of interpretive procedure when applied to Hopper's work does not tell the viewer how to come to rest on a satisfactory conclusion for a story. An ambiguity arises in respect to what has happened just before or what is likely to happen next. The characteri-zation of his paintings as expressing loneliness and alienation is a by-product of this ambi-guity. It is this interpretation which eventually turned into a new descriptive category of its own. Here are a series of review exerpts which illustrate how the'situational interpre-tation of Hopper's work yields description attributing loneliness, emptiness, etc., to the paintings as their expressed intention. Nighthawks (1942) provides us with an example of how the critics see Hopper using time. He often painted times of day when nobody is about. 54 This c o u l d be in te rpreted as Denniston suggests, i . e . , i n terms of Hopper 's i n -terest i n " the image i n s p a c e " . A " s i t u a t i o n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n " looks for what is happen ing in terms of the human v a l u e s . The absence or r e l a t i v e absence of peop le is desc r ibed i n terms of i s o l a t i o n and l o n e l i n e s s . L l o y d G o o d r i c h mentions that : " O f t e n he chooses the hours when f e w or no peop le are abroad : la te at n i g h t , as in N i g h t h a w k s , or e a r l y e a r l y Sunday morn ing , as in the p ic tu re of that t i t l e , f u l l of the poignant emptiness of the streets before anyone is u p . " 5 2 C o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , Frank G e t l e i n desc r ibed Ear ly Sunday M o r n i n g (1930) in the f o l l o w i n g w a y : "The days have o n l y just begun , but even when the sun is st ra ight o v e r h e a d , the street w i l l be a s t r e e t in the desert and the w a l k e r s , i n whatever number , w i l l w a l k a l o n e . " 53 In 1948, Parker Ty le r wrote an a r t i c l e in M a g a z i n e of the A r ts e n t i t l e d "Edward Hopper : A l i e n a t i o n by L i g h t . " (Th is , i n c i d e n t a l l y , is the f i rst a c t u a l ment ion of the word " a l i e n a t i o n 1 as i t was a p p l i e d to H o p p e r ) . T y l e r was c o n c e r n e d w i t h how Hopper had g a i n e d a mood or "the p a i n t - f e e l i n g , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h re fe rence to the l i g h t . " T y l e r , for i n s t a n c e , noted that : "his l i gh t unites ( i f i t does) through monotony rather than v a r i e t y . " Further a l o n g he mentions " i t might be sa id that he i l l um ina tes the ea r th l y dark by a c -c e n t i n g its reso lu te l y opaque sur face ; thus l i gh t is an apparent means by w h i c h an o b j e c t or person iso lates i t se l f both from other ob jects and persons and even from the un iverse - that i s , from a sense of un i t y w i t h a l l o t h e r t h i n g s . " 5 4 He t ies this a l l i n by not ing the se l f -es t rangement of the usherette in N e w Y o r k M o v i e (1939): 55 " the usherette l e a n i n g against the s ide w a l l is separated i n her l i ght z o n e from the dimmer l ight s u p p l i e d by c e i l -ing lamps under the boxes on the opposi te s ide of the p e r -s p e c t i v e and by the l i gh t from the mov ie screen i t s e l f . How pathe t ic is the sharp ' t h e a t r i c a l ' emphasis g i v e n her: o n l y smal l g leams from the brass r a i l i n the lower cent re c o n n e c t her w i t h the l i gh t of the w o r l d of the i m a g i n a t i o n . " S i n c e our procedures and methods of l e a r n i n g about Hopper w o u l d correspond w i t h those of anyone else interested i n l ea rn ing about h i m , we c a n use this to our advantage h e r e . K n o w i n g what we do about the genre c o n c e p t and the na r ra t i ve p a i n t i n g t r a d i t i o n , we c a n beg in to p i e c e together how the i n t e r p r e t i v e t r a d i t i o n that surrounds Hopper 's work came in to b e i n g . Cons ide r the f o l l o w i n g accounts as part of a r e c a p i t u l a t i v e process. The c r i t i c s draw upon p r i n c i p a l points of an e a r l i e r r e v i e w and then use them as a resource for genera t ing further mate r ia l i n the i r own a c c o u n t s . In 1964, Br ian O ' D o h e r t y wrote a p i e c e for A r t in A m e r i c a e n t i t l e d , "Por t ra i t : Edward H o p p e r " . O n e of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s O ' D o h e r t y u n d e r l i n e d and stressed was the w a y Hopper used (or d i d not use) peop le i n his p a i n t i n g s . N o t i c e i n the f o l l o w i n g const ruct ion how O ' D o h e r t y presents the reader w i t h a set of instruct ions for see ing that aspect of Hopper 's work: " H e has a lso f o r c e d a more a c u t e sense of personal presence by not using peop le at a l l . In 1930 he put a person i n one of the windows of Ear ly Sunday M o r n -ing and then pa in ted i t out - the f a c t that he had done so was a t o p i c of conversat ion among the ar t is ts , M r s . Hopper remembers. In his latest p i c t u r e , Sun in an Empty Room, he put i n a f i gu re and then took i t o u t . By - . p u t t i n g a person in and then e l i m i n a t i n g them, the i r presence somehow haunts the room. 56 When L l o y d G o o d r i c h mentions Sun in an Empty Room a few years l a t e r , there is a remarkab ly s i m i l a r r i n g to the w a y he descr ibes what is g o i n g on i n the p i c t u r e : " O n e of his last pa int ings is Sun in an Empty Room, the same c o n c e p t as Rooms by the S e a , but even more d r a s t i -c a l l y s imp le : l i ght has become the ent i re mot i f , f i l l i n g the p ic tu re w i t h a haunt ing p resence . W h e n Br ian O ' D o h e r t y asked h im: "What are you af ter i n i t ? 1 he answered , ' I 'm af ter me' ". 5 7 Here is how Sun in an Empty Room was descr ibed by A . T . Baker when he wrote an a r t i c l e on Edward Hopper for the art s e c t i o n of Time: " 'What are you af ter h e r e ? ' c r i t i c Br ian O ' D o h e r t y o n c e asked him l o o k i n g at a p a r t i c u l a r l y austere p a i n t i n g c a l l e d Sun in an Enpty Room. 'I 'm af ter m e 1 , sa id Hoppe r . " 5 8 Both G o o d r i c h ' s and Baker 's descr ipt ions of Sun in an Empty Room appear to have been h e a v i l y i n f l u e n c e d by O ' D o h e r t y ' s o r i g i n a l a r t i c l e . From the above e v i d e n c e i t seems u n l i k e l y that these two interpretat ions were g a i n e d through thought and p r i va te c o n t e m p l a t i o n . Furthermore, G o o d r i c h and Baker both g i v e an o b l i q u e r e c o g n i t i o n to O ' D o h e r t y ' s o r i g i n a l a r t i c l e when they use what I cons ider to be a cur ious k i n d of f o o t - n o t i n g system used i n magaz ines and p e r i o d i c a l s c a t e r i n g to an a u d i e n c e of a n o n - s c h o l a r l y na tu re . In the i r r e v i e w s , both G o o d r i c h and Baker have a p p l i e d portions of the f o l l o w i n g quote w h i c h appeared in the o r i g i n a l O ' D o h e r t y p i e c e one page further on : "What are you a f ter in i t ? " "I 'm af ter M E " , he sa id w i t h a s l i gh t smi le to take the exasperat ion a w a y . S i l e n c e . The empty room i n the canvas seemed t o gather i t i n . It was q u i t e II -SQ eerie. 57 We have witnessed the actual procedure for establishing an interpretation of a work of art. O'Doherty's observations and opinion, his acquaintance with the artist himself, is written down and communicated to others. Portions of what he felt to be import-ant are selected out and used as a method for viewing a.specific painting. By the time Sun  in an Empty Room becomes an interesting subject for the pages of Time this set of instruc-tions has become a "fact". What is more, both Goodrich and Baker become parties to this process; they both act as part of the apparatus for the manufacturing of the critical tradition. Slowly, review by review, the interpretation of Hopper is brought to completion as specific features of a critical account are selected for repeated use. Summary In this chapter I showed what the main features of the narrative painting tradi-tion are as well as introducing the notion of a modified narrative sequence. This modified narrative sequence differed from the main narrative sequence in that the usual concern with an on-going story was played down and attention was given instead to the situational episode. In the case of Edward Hopper's work, the on-going narrative character is stopped and the build-up of description begins. Beginning in the early thirties and continuing up until the present the critics have described Hopper using this modified narrative sequence as the means for establishing which set of interpretive procedures would best apply to his work. Moreover, the development of a modified interpretive procedure opened up the possibility of varient interpretations which could possibly be used as a future resource in describing his work. Finally, I showed how critics will draw upon one another's reviews as yet another resource for establishing an interpretive tradition. 58 IV Edward Hopper 's O w n C o n t r i b u t i o n M a n d r a k e The M a g i c i a n suggests hypnos is . It now seems necessary to devote cons ide rab le a t ten t ion to h o w , p r e c i s e l y , Hopper contr ibutes to the in te rp re ta t ion of his own w o r k . What has he done w i t h paint and brush so that peop le generate the i r accounts s i m i l a r l y ? In this chapter I w i l l u n d e r -take an e x a m i n a t i o n of (1) Hopper 's work lends i tse l f to nar ra t i ve in terpretat ions and (2) show how the m o d i f i e d na r ra t i ve i n te rp re ta t ion comb ined w i t h amb igu i t y is made by the c r i t i c s to y i e l d s i g n i f i c a n c e for l one l iness , a l i e n a t i o n , and t imelessness. The a c c o m p a n y -ing f i gu re w i l l h e l p i l l u s t r a t e the course of my i n q u i r y . F I G U R E T W O (1) M a i n N a r r a t i v e Sequence S l o t A S lo t B S lo t C The e x t r a p o l a t i o n o f a past The Pa in t ing 's The Imputat ion of some future event N o w (2) M o d i f i e d D e s c r i p t i v e Sequence S l o t A S l o t B S lo t C Past? The Pa int ing 's N o w F u t u r e ? Hopper can be seen as painting in the narrative painting tradition that has been around in Western Art for centuries. It was through this traditional way of comprehending painting that his work was first viewed by the critics. Hopper's work lends itself to a narrative interpretation and this interpretation can be recovered and employed as a set of viewing instructions with relative ease. All one need do is show Hopper's paintings to someone who is not familiar with the current interpretation of his work and the narrative frame will spring into being. The first time I experienced this phenomenon was with my own son Nathan, who was three years old at the time. I had been sitting reading Lloyd Goodrich's Edward Hopper when Nathan crawled up onto the davenport and wanted to see what it was that I was look-ing at . As we began to thumb through the book together, he tried to articulate what he saw going on in the paintings by using the narrative technique. Even though he was handi-capped by a somewhat limited vocabulary, he was clearly trying to put together a logical narrative in terms of what the people in the painting were doing. Furthermore, Nathan was using a set of interpretive instructions that was contrary to the interpretation that was cur-rently being applied to Hopper's work. What struck me as significant about this was how early this attempt to describe things in a linear fashion takes place. Although I imagine that there is a limit past which this could not be done with children - language being needed as the first requirement for sub-stantiating anything we might suspect - it would seem that even young children tend to des-cribe a painting in a narrative context, seeking to pull out a story from the canvas' surface. Of course, Nathan's ability to put together a logical narrative may be a feature of the problem that I ment ioned b r i e f l y in the last chapter - c h i l d r e n who have been read to may a l r e a d y have learned this w a y of l o o k i n g at p i c t u r e s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , th is d i d i n d i c a t e to me that w i t h i n the formal propert ies of the pa in t ing a mental l ist of ob jects ex is ted and were a v a i l a b l e for putt ing together a s to ry . In other words, formal q u a l i t i e s that are needed in order to put together a story are there w i t h i n the p a i n t i n g . * I d i d exper iment further by showing Hopper 's paint ings to var ious p e o p l e , a l though i t was c e r t a i n l y not a proper ly c o n d u c t e d survey . The most s t r i k i n g re -sult of my quest ion ing came when I w o u l d seek a response from young c h i l d r e n c o n c e r n i n g what they saw i n the p a i n t i n g s . A l l of them chose the na r ra t i ve as the method for d e s c r i p -t i o n . When I w o u l d show them one of Hopper 's pa in t ings , they w o u l d i m m e d i a t e l y beg in to g i v e me a story about what was go ing on ins ide the p a i n t i n g . Edward Hopper might be sa id to become s p e c i f i c a l l y ambiguous o n l y in the c o n -text of the na r ra t i ve p a i n t i n g t r a d i t i o n . By at tempt ing to make the structure of his p a i n t -ings i n t e l l i g i b l e through that genre the ob jec t is rendered ambiguous w h i c h , i n tu rn , enables c r i t i c s to const i tu te the pa int ings as l o n e l y , a l i e n a t e d and t ime less . By t r a c i n g the meaning of the paint ings through a sequence of events , an a m b i g u i t y arises in the re la t ionsh ips b e t -ween Hopper 's pa int ings and the inst ruct ions for t e l l i n g a s tory . The message of the o b j e c t is 'up in the a i r 1 . This method of i n te rp re ta t ion enables c r i t i c s to n o t i c e Hopper 's s e l e c t i o n of t ime and p l a c e when nobody is a b o u t . Races and locat ions where we are o r d i n a r i l y a c -customed to see ing peop le are no longer popu lated by t y p i c a l c r o w d s . There has been a b reach in the sequent ia l o rder ing of events that go to make up a s to ry . Rules for na r ra t i ve * l was reminded of the M a r x Brothers' f i l m Duck Soup where G r o u c h o is l o o k i n g at a map on the w a l l and says , " W h y , any t h r e e - y e a r - o l d k i d c a n f i gu re this o u t ! " . There is a pause, and then he says, " Q u i c k , somebody, go and get me a t h r e e - y e a r - o l d k i d . " 61 s t o r y - t e l l i n g are no longer a p p l i c a b l e and the a r t i c u l a t i o n of the pa in t i ng in the usual w a y is no longer poss ib le g i v e n this c o n t e x t . The c r i t i c provides us w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n t e x t and then we are d e p r i v e d of the necessary 'someth ing ' to f u l f i l l i t . The c r i t i c g ives us a set of instruct ions on how to read someth ing , but his set of instruct ions is i n c o m p l e t e g i v e n the t r a d i t i o n a l f r amework . W i t h this set of i n c o m p l e t e ins t ruct ions , the r e a d e r / v i e w e r is f o r c e d to dea l w i t h the pa int ings i n a s p e c u l a t i v e , thoughtfu l w a y . A s I noted e l sewhere , modern p s y c h o l o g i c a l test ing theory has i nco rpo ra ted these same d e s c r i p t i v e p r i n c i p l e s in to the Themat ic A p p e r c e p t i o n Test . A m o n g other th ings , this test has been used to determine the degree to w h i c h a pat ient is a l i e n a t e d . Depend ing on what the pat ient says he sees, psychologists c l a i m to be a b l e to determine the degree to w h i c h a pat ient is a l i e n a t e d . * Furthermore, i t should a lso be remembered that a l i e n a t i o n is somehow v i e w e d as a n e g a t i v e v a l u e by psychologists and this test , when admin is tered to peop le seen to be suf fer ing from p s y c h o l o g i c a l distress, is a n a l y z e d for recurrent or unusual themes for what i t w i l l r evea l regard ing the i n d i v i d u a l ' s underp inn ing assumptions and a t t i t udes . If the i n d i v i d u a l is d e f i n e d as a l i e n a t e d af ter t a k i n g a T . A . T . , i t is on a c c o u n t of what he has read into the p a i n t i n g . Interpret ive procedures thbt u n l o c k the mean ing o f a p a i n t i n g by (1) i n t r o d u c i n g f i gu res , o b j e c t s , or events that are not d e p i c t e d w i t h i n its formal propert ies , or (2) a d e s c r i p t i o n that e x c l u d e s an a c c o u n t of items cons ide red to be prominent or s i g n i f i c a n t but omi t ted in the story , are used to measure a l i e n a t i o n . A l t h o u g h * S e e , for e x a m p l e , K e n n e t h Ken is ton 's The Uncommi t ted : A l i e n a t e d Y o u t h In A m e r i c a  S o c i e t y . N e w Y o r k : D e l l Pub l i sh ing C o . I n c . , 1965 . 6 2 I have no further i n ten t ion of go ing in to this issue here , I w o u l d l i k e to l e a v e my reader w i t h one thought c o n c e r n i n g the notions of a l i e n a t i o n v i s a v i s this type o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l t e s t i n g . It seems l e g i t i m a t e to ask w h y , in the case of Edward Hopper 's pa in t ings , are the meanings i m p l i c i t l y i n the pa int ings for art c r i t i c s w h i l e , on the other h a n d , under cond i t i ons of p s y c h o l o g i c a l test ing they are a d imension of the pat ient ' s mind and something he has brought to the pa in t i ng in order to interpret i t ? When the v i e w e r approaches a Hopper p a i n t i n g , b r i n g i n g w i t h him i n t e r p r e t i v e procedures for s t o r y - t e l l i n g , that is when the v i sua l v o c a b u l a r i e s y i e l d the necessary e l e -ments for b u i l d i n g o n e . O u t of a seeming ly i n f i n i t e number of reconst ruct ions a v i e w e r c a n l o c a t e the pa int ings in to a story sequence by using the i n t e r p r e t i v e procedures of the nar ra t ive f rame . W i t h Hopper 's w o r k , h o w e v e r , the story's outcome remains u n c e r t a i n u s -ing this procedure and the formal e lements w i l l not d e c i d e for the v i e w e r e x a c t l y what the story should b e . This ambiguous e f f e c t i n Hopper 's work is what the c r i t i c s have gone to such lengths i n d e s c r i b i n g . The m a t e r i a l s t i l l exists for a story to be made , but i n th is new o r g a n i z a t i o n i t is d i f f i c u l t to c o m p l e t e a story; d i f f i c u l t to come to rest on one d e f i n i t e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . F igure three i l lust rates this p a n t . F I G U R E THREE S l o t A S l o t B S l o t C P a s t ' ( ? ) The Pa in t ing 's N o w F u t u r e ? 63 What Hopper has s u c c e e d e d in do ing is mak ing the t rave l across these slots d i f f i c u l t to a c c o m p l i s h . His pa int ings b reach some of the t r a d i t i o n a l rules for v i e w i n g na r ra t i ve pa in t i ngs . His mater ia l does not lend i t se l f to the deve lopment of a l is t of mental images needed to put a story together w i t h a sat is factory l i n k - u p w i t h e i ther the past or the f u t u r e . This b reach i n the a p p l i c a t i o n of i n te rp re t i ve procedures arises when Hopper 's paint ings are in terpreted in the nar ra t i ve g e n r e . It is then that the a m b i g u i t y a r ises . W h e n that set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures is used , there is an i n a b i l i t y to e x t r a p o -la te a sat is factory past or impute a sat is factory future onto the s i t u a t i o n a l ep isode of the pa in t ing 's n o w . When Hopper stages the mate r ia l for us , he d e l i b e r a t e l y distorts the r e -presentat ional f a b r i c , thereby mak ing i t more d i f f i c u l t for the v i e w e r to c o n t i n u e mak ing connect ions w between the pa in t ing ' s now and e i ther S lo t A or S l o t C . This d is to r t ion In . the representat iona l f a b r i c is an a r t i f i c e that Hopper a c h i e v e s in c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the w a y he is c u r r e n t l y be ing descr ibed by the c r i t i c s . It is a p r o d u c -t i o n of the c r i t i c s plus Hopper . His work cont r ibutes to this e f fec t because Hopper h imsel f g a v e t i t l e s to his pa int ings w h i c h r e d u c e d the s t o r y - t e l l i n g features of the pa int ings as w e l l as. con fus ing the , cues that c a n be gotten from his work when he t a l k e d w i t h the c r i t i c s . Edward Hopper 's "power to d i s tu rb" our senses of what is or should be go ing on in a pa in t i ng comes out of this r e l a t i o n s h i p be tween h imsel f and the c r i t i c s . W i t h the i r h e l p , he has gra f ted his own y e t - t o - b e - a r t i c u l a t e d genre on to the na r ra t i ve p a i n t i n g t rad i t i on and has e l e v a t e d c e r t a i n va r i a t i ons of this t r ad i t i on for his own express ion . This is his new staging of commonly understood modes of c o m m u n i c a t i o n . Under these c i r c u m s t a n c e s , the v i e w e r no longer has the k i n d of f reedom to p i c k up the standard image l is t for mak ing a s tory . By je t t i son ing the current na r ra t i ve form w i t h its emphasis on p lot and a n t i c i p a t e d story , he has used the nar ra t i ve s ty le in order to e x p l a i n his own themes, symbols and 64 v o c a b u l a r i e s . N o w the c o n c e p t of se r i a l progression is abandoned and a l l pretense of e x p l a -nat ion is d r o p p e d . He adopts a useful set of common themes and images as the s k e l e t a l o u t -l i ne for the deve lopment of hisown u n f a m i l i a r c o n v e n t i o n s . Thus common scenes are no longer f a m i l i a r because of his p r i va te usage . His forms are not necessa r i l y r e a l i s t i c or r e -presentat iona l of the common e x p e r i e n c e . Hopper w o r k e d w i t h the i d e a of i n c o m p l e t e ins t ruct ion very w e l l . By that I mean o n c e the c o n t e x t of the na r ra t i ve is g i v e n (or taken) by the v i e w e r , he is then d e -p r ived of a l l the necessary and essent ia l ingredients requ i red to f u l f i l l i t . The v i e w e r is then put i n a pos i t ion of l a c k i n g a s p e c i f i c p i e c e i n order to put the w h o l e p u z z l e toge the r . There is a part that has not been observed , an i n c o m p l e t e set of i ns t ruct ions , where the v i e w e r is f o r c e d into d e a l i n g w i t h the pa in t i ng i n a s p e c u l a t i v e t h i n k i n g w a y . W e saw i n C h a p t e r three how he a p p l i e d the not ion of i n c o m p l e t e ins t ruct ion to the p a i n t i n g C a p e C o d E v e n - i n g . If the p a i n t i n g had been c a l l e d " W h i p p o o r w i l l " , i t is then g i v e n a new set of m e a n -ings by the v i e w e r . For e x a m p l e , I c a n "see" the dog turn ing his head and l i s ten ing to the notes of a b i rd s ing ing o f f - s t a g e somewhere , i f the t i t l e is W h i p p o o r w i l l . I have a good dea l of d i f f i c u l t y do ing that when i t is c a l l e d C a p e C o d E v e n i n g . In that i n s t a n c e , the dog is o n l y turn ing his h e a d . In the main na r ra t i ve sequence the art ist aims at a set of i n t e r p r e t i v e procedures w h i c h w i l l o r g a n i z e his work in fo one of c o n t i n u i t y and c o n n e c t i o n be tween the past, p r e -sent and fu tu re . Hopper c a n be seen as b r e a c h i n g some of these t r a d i t i o n a l ways of v i e w i n g the na r ra t i ve pa in t i ng t r a d i t i o n . This b reach i n procedures is why i t is d i f f i c u l t to e x t r a p o -la te a past or impute a future onto the one pa in ted frame the v i e w e r is asked to dea l w i t h . He is unab le to know what has happened prior to the scene he is v i e w i n g or what w i l l o c c u r 65 n e x t . N o t rave l is permit ted across the l ines from w i t h i n the p a i n t i n g . If the nar ra t i ve s t r u c -ture is used as an o r g a n i z i n g method then there is a d i f f i c u l t y i n i d e n t i f y i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l s t o r y - p r o d u c i n g signs that are no rma l l y t h e r e . The o n l y ment ion that Hopper h imsel f ever made of this phenomenon was o n c e when Br ian O ' D o h e r t y asked him about the ' e c l i p s i n g f rame 1 : "The e c l i p s i n g f rame is a d e v i c e f e l t v e r y s t r o n g l y . "The f r a m e ? I cons ider i t ve ry f o r c i b l y , " he says . The sub ject is a lways c ropped i n ways that s t imu la te and frustrate a t -t e n t i o n . Sharp croppings i m p l y movement and change w h i l e f i x i n g the s u b j e c t , so that his p ictures seem l i k e s o l i d frames i n some s l o w - m o t i o n , l i f e - l o n g mov ies . " $® This b reach in the normal procedures for f raming a na r ra t i ve p a i n t i n g is the r e a -son why there is an i n a b i l i t y to ex t rapo la te a d e f i n i t e past or impute -a d e f i n i t e future onto the sur face of the pa in t ing 's n o w . O n e possible reason why i t was a p p l i e d so q u i c k l y i n Hopper 's case is that w i t h documents of a c e r t a i n na tu re , a b reach seen as a v i o l a t i o n of a normal set os procedures is a v a i l a b l e to us as an a l t e r n a t i v e or a u x i l i a r y set of i n t e r p r e -t i v e procedures for v i e w i n g a document . By using the m o d i f i e d nar ra t i ve sequence c o m b i n e d ; w i t h the no t ion of a m b i g u i t y c r i t i c s make i t to y i e l d the s p e c i f i c in terpretat ions of l o n e l i n e s s , a l i e n a t i o n , and t imelessness. S t o r y - t e l l i n g stops and d e s c r i p t i o n is b u i l t up layer upon l a y e r . The c o n c e r n is now w i t h descr ipt ions of persons, th ings , s i tua t ions , and backgrounds of events . By ass ign ing Hopper 's paint ings to this g e n r e , the c r i t i c plugs them into a d e f i n i t e set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures that are seen to be d i s t i n c t i v e l y d i f fe rent from the nar ra t i ve genre he was o r i g i n a l l y a s s i g n e d " t o . Us ing the mater ia l thus far presented in this chapte r as an a d d i t i o n a l set of ins t ruct ions , I w o u l d now l i k e to present severa l wr i t ten accounts where the rev iewers do const i tu te Hopper as a l i e n a t e d , l o n e l y , and t ime less . These are the types of d e s c r i p t i o n that the p r i n c i p a l a r c h i t e c t s of the t rad i t i on surrounding Hopper have ment ioned w i t h the most f r e q u e n c y . (1) The D e s c r i p t i v e Frame In an a r t i c l e w h i c h appeared i n Sao Pau lo 9 , W i l l i a m S e i t z provides the reader w i t h a q u i t e lengthy desc r ip t i on of the p a i n t i n g , O f f i c e A t N i g h t (1940) ; y e t , as the f o l l o w -i n g examp le shows, he has d e v e l o p e d his descr ip t ions around the d e s c r i p t i v e moment , s t o p -p ing the story and d e s c r i b i n g what is t a k i n g p l a c e w i t h i n the one frame the p a i n t i n g deals w i t h : " O n e marve ls , l o o k i n g at such a work as O f f i c e at N i g h t , that in 1940 any A m e r i c a n painter devoted so much c a r e and s k i l l to the d e p i c t i o n of c o m m e r c i a l a c t i v i t y and the u t i l i t a r i a n set t ing and equ ipment . The grace less w a l l s , part i t ions of e l e c t r i c l i g h t i n g from ins ide and o u t . The d e s k , the heavy o f f i c e c h a i r s , the umbre l la s tand , te lephone and lamp, the t y p e w r i t e r , and papers are g i v e n a p s y c h e d e l i c c l a r i t y . A g a i n s t these a r t i fac ts the rounded body of the s e c -retary is s t r i k i n g l y sensuous. By contrast w i t h her strong form and assured s t a n c e , her employer is a h o l l o w man , ha rd l y human . N e v e r t h e l e s s an almost pa in fu l p s y c h i c , even s e x u a l , tension r e s u l t s . " S e i t z g ives the woman's body a p a r t i c u l a r sexua l status when he refers to her as be ing S t r i k i n g l y sensuous ' . This enab les h im then to construct a set of assembly instruct ions whereby 'an almost p a i n f u l , p s y c h i c , even s e x u a l , tension resu l t s ' . S e i t z was a b l e , on the other h a n d , to k e e p his a t ten t ion upon the moment that the p a i n t i n g d e a l t w i t h and d i d not s tep outs ide the boundar ies o u t l i n e d by the a r t i s t . He.does stress p s y c h o l o g i c a l aspects as much as possible but w i t h i n the boundar ies of the p a i n t i n g . S e i t z c h a r a c t e r i z e s Hopper 's work by stressing the p s y c h o l o g i c a l aspects in the p a i n t i n g , ye t is sa t i s f i ed to remain w i t h i n the boundar ies o u t l i n e d by the art ist 's own h a n d . N o w le t ' s g l a n c e at Parker Ty le r ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . He r e c e i v e d a s i m i l a r message from this p a i n t i n g , but f e l t that he c o u l d push its l o g i c a l c o n c l u s i o n out beyond the frame that the pa in t i ng deals w i t h : " O f f i c e at N i g h t " shows l ight as a w e d g e , pressing peop le b a c k in to the i r own p r i va te darkness; under the merc i less g l a r e from ove rhead (seeming s y m b o l i c of the const ra int of w o r k i n g over t ime) the g i r l c l e r k ' s f i gu re is u n i t e d w i t h the f i l i n g c a b i n e t cshe stands by w h i l e her boss is un i ted w i t h his desk: the b l o n d , b lank w a l l d i v i des them w h i l e they are fused w i t h th ings . The dark w e l d i n g of desk w i t h f i l i n g c a b i -net at the lower parts of these ob jects conta ins a c e r t a i n e r o -t i c i ns inuat ion : this l i t t l e c o n t a c t a f ter hours may be pre lude to an ' e v e n i n g out ' for these two w o r k e r s . " ^ T y l e r at t r ibutes e r o t i c ins inuat ions to both desk and f i l i n g c a b i n e t , then f i ts that i n te rp re ta t ion n i c e l y to correspond w i t h a d e s c r i p t i o n of the g i r l c l e r k ' s f i gu re b e i n g un i ted w i t h the f i l i n g c a b i n e t , w h i l e her boss is u n i t e d w i t h his desk . Then he suggests that this l i t t l e c o n t a c t may be a pre lude to an e v e n i n g out for these two worke rs . The l i n k -up is made i n such a w a y as to suggest that 'something w i l l happen ' of f stage be tween these two p e o p l e ; that events w i l l o c c u r i n a w o r l d that we w i l l never share or o c c u p y . O n e w a y to fake Ty le r ' s mean ing here is that the two peop le w i l l have a sexua l i n t e r l u d e la te r o n . H o w e v e r , i t w o u l d be just as easy to suggest that they were about to send out for co f fee and sandwiches or go r o l l e r s k a t i n g . G i v e n what Ty le r chooses to observe and d e s c r i b e , h o w -e v e r , that i n te rp re ta t ion cannot be made to s t i c k . C o n s e q u e n t l y , his i n te rp re ta t ion of what "may b e " is g i v e n an a m b i g u i t y . It is an " "evening out ' " (and Ty le r uses the quotes) for these two workers . The in te rp re ta t ion now f a l l s w i t h i n a s p e c u l a t i v e rea lm and from the set of instruct ions we- r e c e i v e , we cannot come to rest on one abso lute i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . (2) Hopper and A l i e n a t i o n Parker Ty le r ' s "Edward Hopper : A l i e n a t i o n by L i g h t " started the b a l l r o l l i n g as far as that s p e c i f i c i n te rp re ta t ion was c o n c e r n e d . It appeared in M a g a z i n e of A r t in D e c e m -ber , 1948 . G i v i n g his reader both a set of instruct ions that are not in tended to a p p l y and then those that w i l l , T y l e r says: "Just the cont rary was true of impressionist p a i n t i n g , for i n Seurat and M o n e t we see the w o r l d of o b j e c t s , no less than the a i r , saturated by natura l l i g h t . But w h a t e v e r r i g i d l y l i m i t e d expression l i gh t a c h i e v e s in Hopper 's work , i t makes the best of i t , n e g a t i v e l y , by a l i e n a t i n g whatever resists i t . " 6 3 In this next examp le w e see how Lawrence C a m p b e l l has re in te rp re ted the e a r l y Hopper . Instead of the " l y r i c i m a g i n a t i o n " g i v e n his work in the la te t w e n t i e s , that same work is now seen i n , l i g h t of the m o d i f i e d i n te rp re ta t i on : "The e a r l y Hopper was a p leasant enough p a i n t e r . The ' r e a l ' Hopper of the d i a b o l i c a l l y st ra ight forward t e c h n i q u e , the c o n -t rast ing l i g h t and da rks , the m e n a c i n g shadows, the l a t e V i c -to r ian b u i l d i n g s , and above a l l the mood of estrangement and i s o l a t i o n of man in an outs ide w o r l d of urban bu i l d ings - man a l i e n a t e d both from i t and from h imsel f - c r y s t a l l i z e d in the e t c h i n g s . " °4 S i m i l a r l y , we learn that: "Hopper 's v i s i o n is a depressing o n e , and whateve r p leasure there is in i t , is perverse - the r e a l i z a t i o n that the art ist has s t r ipped h imsel f of the a r t i s t i c , sensuous w a y of s e e i n g , almost as an end i n i t s e l f , and has brought i t down almost to the l e v e l of the o rd ina ry , u n i m a g i n a t i v e , a l i e n a t e d v i s i o n w h i c h sees the w o r l d o n l y as a c o l l e c t i o n of things to be used i f u s e f u l , to be r e j e c t e d i f n o t . 1 , 6 5 69 (3) Hopper and Lonel iness A n o t h e r common fo rmu la t ion of Hopper 's des igned a m b i g u i t y is the lone l iness i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . In the f o l l o w i n g r e v i e w L l o y d G o o d r i c h g ives an i n te rp re ta t ion that a l l e g e d l y e x p l a i n s why this is so: "The pervad ing sense of lone l iness i n Hopper 's art is l i n k e d to his reserved emot iona l a t t i t ude towards human be ings , and to its c o r o l l a r y , the strong emot ion he concent rates on the non -human elements of the w o r l d i n w h i c h he l i v e s . There is a t ransference of emot ion from humani ty to its set t ing a n a -logous to the landscap ist 's t ransference to n a t u r e . " 0 0 O c c a s i o n a l l y , an in te rp re ta t ion w i l l f i n d i t se l f b e i n g assigned to the wrong p a i n t i n g as was the case when M a r g a r e t Breuning wrote an a r t i c l e for The A r t D igest : " O n e of Hopper 's marked gi f ts is the e v o c a t i o n of an a t -mosphere of i s o l a t i o n : a roadside gas s tat ion at n ight c a l l e d Ear ly Sunday M o r n i n g , a street w i t h c l o s e d shops, or a dreary st retch of an empty W e e h a w k e n street are a l l e n v e l o p e d in a v e i l of remoteness and l o n e l i n e s s . " ° ^ It w o u l d be d i f f i c u l t to determine how the roadside gas s tat ion at n ight r e c e i v e d the t i t l e Ear ly Sunday M o r n i n g . In this case i t may have been a p r in t ing error or the f a c t that severa l sentences that should have been i n c l u d e d i n the r e v i e w were le f t o u t . The f e a -ture to n o t e , h o w e v e r , is that Breuning 's lone l iness in te rp re ta t ion - as a set of instruct ions -has been assigned t o th ree d i f fe rent pa in t ings w h i l e she r e a l l y o n l y mentions o n e . The r o a d -s ide gas stat ion she is speak ing of is more than l i k e l y G a s w h i c h we have t a l k e d about e a r l i e r o n . The empty W e e h a w k e n street she speaks of c a n o n l y be a desc r ip t i on of East W i n d O v e r W e e h a w k e n (1934) , the o n l y p a i n t i n g tha t , to my k n o w l e d g e , dea ls w i t h W e e h a w k e n streets . A reader c a n a lso learn that Hopper 's lone l iness is due i n part to the f a c t that he is "Part P u r i t a n " , and part " P e e p i n g Tom" as Lawrence C a m p b e l l descr ibes : "This f inds an o u t l e t i n his pa int ings in repeated P e e p i n g -Tom s i tua t i ons , l i k e the story of the c l e r g y m a n i n Sherwood Anderson 's W i n e s b u r g , O h i o , who k n o c k e d out a pane from the s ta ined glass w i n d o w in his c h u r c h in order to spy on a woman l y i n g in a bed in a room across the s t reet . In a Hopper p a i n t i n g , the missing pane of glass is usua l l y a w i n d o w across the street or a h idden p l a c e w i t h i n a room from w h i c h one c a n sa fe l y observe a woman undressing or s t r i p t e a s i n g , or a naked woman standing or s i t t i ng on a bed l o o k i n g out of a w i n d o w , and when there is no woman i n v i e w , a mysterious l i g h t e d w i n d o w suggests she may soon a p p e a r . These fantasies o c c u r in an A m e r i c a w h i c h Hopper sees as a w o r l d of utter lone l iness and monotony , i n h a b i t e d , i f at a l l , by peop le w i t h anonymous, w h i t e , e x e c u t i v e f a c e s . He throws a l ight i n to his bu i l d ings w i t h a beam as unwaver ing as m o o n -l i g h t . W h e n his peop le s i t f a c i n g i n to the sun i t is as though they were l o o k i n g into an empty g r a v e . Even unspo i led nature seems dehuman i zed and ominous . " ^ (4) The Stoppage of T ime O n e further way that c r i t i c s have chosen to descr ibe Hopper 's s i t u a t i o n a l ep isode is by ment ion ing the apparent stoppage of t ime i n the sequent ia l o rde r ing of events i n h is pa in ings . C r i t i c s have chosen to r e c o g n i z e this as one of the important features of his paint ings a n d , s i m i l a r l y , as one of the aspects o f p a i n t i n g i t se l f that Hopper has s k i l f u l l y a c h i e v e d . In order to b r ing this to the a t ten t ion .o f the r e a d e r / v i e w e r c r i t i c s have s e l e c t e d a metaphor that a l l udes to a temporal pause and to the temporary i n a c t i o n in his pa in t i ngs . For e x a m p l e , James Thra l l Soby descr ibes Hopper 's work in the f o l l o w i n g manner: "Hopper 's p ictures t e l l the t ime of day or n ight a c c u r a t e l y , but o n l y in order to br ing the c l o c k to an abso lute h a l t " , or that they "have c r e a t e d an e v o c a t i v e imagery of temporal pause, an imagery 71 " i n w h i c h an atmosphere of t i m e - g o n e - b y acts as a f o i l to a hushed p r e s e n t . " 69 C o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , M a r k Strand u t i l i z e d the same metaphor in his desc r ip t i on of Hopper 's o i l p a i n t i n g , House by the R a i l r o a d : " A n d across the t racks is Hopper 's fo rb idden l a n d , where the present is l i v e d e t e r n a l l y , where the moment is w i thout m o m -en t , where i t is a l w a y s just after and just before - i n this case just a f ter the t ra in has passed, just before the t ra in w i l l a r r i v e . " This i n te rp re ta t ion of Edward Hopper , stressing the metaphor of pause, has not been e x c l u s i v e l y i so la ted to the w o r l d of art c r i t i c i s m . I found its spreading i n f l u e n c e s p i l l -i n g over i n to the w o r l d of short story f i c t i o n as a s o c i a l f a c t . J o h n C a s e y ' s short story , "Test imony and Demeanor" w h i c h appeared i n the N e w Y o r k e r , ment ions Hopper 's a b i l i t y to stop t i m e . In the f o l l o w i n g we overhear the d i a l o g u e be tween two charac te rs a l l u d i n g to the current in te rp re ta t ion of Hopper 's pa int ings : A n n s a i d , "It is l i k e a Hoppe r . A c l i c h e imbued w i t h r e a l i s m . A r e a l i z e d c l i c h e . A n i n t e n s i f i e d c l i c h e . N o , you a ren ' t m a k -a n y t h i n g u p ? I s a i d , " N o " . She s a i d , "What I l i k e about Hopper is this - the other d i m e n s i o n , the suggested d i m e n s i o n , is a b s o l u t e l y , p r e c i s e l y in f o c u s . There is noth ing to p lay w i t h , to g i g g l e in to f o c u s . It a l l comes at o n c e . In f a c t , i t a l l comes at o n c e even though I don ' t know of another pa inter who c a n suggest that a scene - the one of the ins ide of the mov ie theat re , for i n s t a n c e , has such a s t retch of l o n g , bor ing t ime l o c k e d in to i t . Just on and on and o n . Even his house w i t h the yards grown o v e r . A n d y e t every one of his pa int ings has such a c l e a r p o i n t . I mean a l l the t ime is brought to a h e a d , as though his p i c t u r e is a dam w a i t i n g fo r y o u to look at i t for a l l the t ime to be r e l e a s e d . " 71 Casey ' s story shows severa l in terest ing things that ought to be noted h e r e . For one t h i n g , C a s e y has p l a c e d into his l i t e ra ry c o n t e x t an in te rp re ta t ion of a n ar t ist as i f i t were a s o c i a l f a c t . O n e of his f i c t i o n a l characters is speak ing about a feature of the w o r l d rather than the nar ra t i ve expos i tory v o i c e of a c r i t i c . This g ives the in te rp re ta t ion another d i m e n -s i o n . It is as i f r e a l peop le were t a l k i n g about Hopper i n a ' rea l l i f e ' s i t u a t i o n . Y o u read i t as an a u d i e n c e w o u l d l is ten to a p l a y . Furthermore, i t shows how o n c e an in te rp re ta t ion is es tab l i shed , there are a v a r i e t y of w a y s , other possible avenues , by w h i c h the i n t e r p r e -t a t i o n c a n be m e d i a t e d . What I have t r i e d to desc r ibe above is that i t was the c r i t i c s who w o r k e d at ass ign ing Hopper to the m o d i f i e d na r ra t i ve g e n r e . The features that are a t t r i bu ted to his pa int ings are the product of (1) the formal propert ies of Hopper 's work , plus (2) the c r i t i c s ' i n t e r p r e t i v e procedures for d e c o d i n g the message i n his pa in t ings ; plus (3) the inst ruct ions the c r i t i c s g i v e to the r e a d e r / v i e w e r s so that they c a n command a s i m i l a r set of procedures for seeing^ the paint ings in the same w a y . The features of a l i e n a t i o n , l o n e l i n e s s , and t i m e -lessness that are a t t r i bu ted to his work a re not the product of a r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the art ist and his v i s u a l v o c a b u l a r i e s , but the product of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the c r i t i c s ' i n te rp re t i ve procedures and the formal properties of the pa in t ings . It is in terest ing to note that Hopper h imsel f d i s c l a i m e d almost a l l assoc ia t ion w i t h the in terpretat ions that were b e i n g assigned to his w o r k . In an i n t e r v i e w w i t h Hopper that took p l a c e i n 1965, Rafae l Squ i r r i e n o t i c e d that: "The d iscussion amused him and made him t h i n k . I r e a l i z e d then - and i t was true of the w h o l e i n t e r v i e w - that Hopper appeared to be more interested in what his w i f e or I had to say than in say ing any th ing h imse l f . So out of respect I d i d most of the t a l k i n g , w h i l e he l i s t e n e d , and I t r i e d t o read the expressions on his f a c e and d iscern his t h o u g h t s . " 7 ^ Squ i r r i e ' s remarks have set the stage for what we sha l l turn to n e x t . In l o o k i n g back over what we have c o v e r e d so f a r , there is the prominent ment ion of i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o -cedures . Y e t , l i t t l e d e t a i l e d ment ion has been made of how these procedures are used by the c r i t i c s as tools when they are engaged i n the a c t u a l p r a c t i c e of do ing art c r i t i c i s m . What are some of the ways c r i t i c s go about performing the i r t a s k ? What are the methods a v a i l a b l e to them for es tab l i sh ing an i n t e r p r e t i v e t r a d i t i o n ? To paraphrase M r . S q u i r r i e , let us now turn our a t ten t ion to how the c r i t i c reads the expression on the f a c e of a Hopper c a n v a s , and how he tr ies to d iscern its thoughts. V "Champions are M a d e not b o r n " Pa in t ing is a form of c o m m u n i c a t i o n . For the a r t i s t , the v i s u a l v o c a b u l a r i e s he chooses to put forth on canvas are his means of personal express ion ; his means of c o n v e y i n g a message to an a u d i e n c e . C o m i n g at i t from another d i r e c t i o n , we c o u l d a lso say that works of art and the craftsmen who produce them prov ide the raw mater ia l or b a s i c resources for professional c r i t i c s who manufacture and p a c k a g e a v a r i e t y of i n t e r p r e t i v e solut ions to v i sua l c ryptograms. O n c e p a c k a g e d , these so lut ions are then made a v a i l a b l e for mass d i s -t r i bu t ion through an e labo ra te set of i ns t i tu t i ons . In t ime they become part of the c u l t u r a l l y a c c e p t e d products that e n c i r c l e us , de te rmin ing our standards of aesthet ics and i n f l u e n c i n g our not ions of tas te . W h a t then is the basis for a r e l a t i o n s h i p be tween an ar t is t 's pa in t i ngs , the i n t e r -p ret ive procedures of the c r i t i c or r e v i e w e r , and the process of c u l t u r a l m e d i a t i o n ? In Hopper 's case i t is based par t ly on the c r i t i c ' s use of ins ider 's k n o w l e d g e about h i m , par t l y on the use of one another 's c r i t i c a l rev iews as a resource , and par t l y on Hopper 's u n w i l l i n g -ness to d e c l a r e what his pa int ings i n t e n d e d . W i t h Hopper , the art c r i t i c who is regarded as the number one ins ider is a man named L l o y d G o o d r i c h . He a c q u i r e d his reputa t ion l a r g e l y because he amassed the most pr imary source mater ia l on Hopper . W h a t is more , G o o d r i c h was , for a long t i m e , d i r e c t o r of the W h i t n e y Museum w h i c h , a f ter Hopper 's d e a t h , became so le he i r to the Hopper es ta te . I f i rst became aware of M r . . G o o d r i c h ' s ( e m i n e n t pos i t ion when I wrote G a r r e t M c C o y of the Smithsonian ins t i tu te regard ing what in fo rmat ion they had r e l a t i n g to Hoppe r . M c C o y wrote me back s a y i n g : "The l e a d i n g author i t y is L l o y d G o o d r i c h , who has gathered a large amount of in fo rmat ion on Hopper 's w o r k . I b e l i e v e he plans to publ ish a book and is a c c o r d i n g l y r e l u c t a n t to share his documentary i n f o r m a t i o n . S t i l l , you might w r i t e to h im ca re of the W h i t n e y Museum i n N e w Y o r k . Both that i ns t i tu t ion and the Museum of M o d e r n A r t have p r o d -u c e d e x c e l l e n t Hopper e x h i b i t i o n c a t a l o g u e s . The W h i t n e y Museum is a lso the he i r to the Hopper es ta te . "* (see A p p e n d i x B) W i t h the e x c e p t i o n of L l o y d G o o d r i c h who knew Hopper p e r s o n a l l y , and a handfu l of i n te rv iews that have been done through the years there was l i t t l e pr imary source mater ia l a v a i l a b l e on Hopper . The c r i t i c s were as dependent as I was on the f e w good r e -v i e w s that d e a l t w i t h him as a t o p i c . In my own c a s e , for i n s t a n c e , I was a b l e to a t t a i n a command of the e x i s t i n g background mate r ia l as w e l l as forming a reasonable i d e a of what c r i t i c a l accounts were cons idered to be among the most a u t h o r i t a t i v e , i n l i t t l e more than two months. Even when the l o c a l U n i v e r s i t y L ib ra ry d i d not have a c e r t a i n a r t i c l e or r e v i e w in its possession, I had o n l y to w a i t a matter of weeks before o b t a i n i n g i t through the i n t e r - l i b r a r y loan s y s -t e m . Thus, w i t h i n a per iod of a f e w months, I was a b l e to determine w h i c h a r t i c l e s were the most i n f o r m a t i v e , w h i c h a r t i c l e s were used by other c r i t i c s to b u i l d the i r own rev iews o n , and w h i c h c r i t i c s had p l a y e d k e y roles in the establ ishment of the t r a d i t i o n that su r -rounded Hopper 's w o r k . I found that , as in other f i e l d s , art c r i t i c i s m too has the ca tego ry of expert or p ro fess iona l . In Hopper 's case c e r t a i n art c r i t i c s had come to be regarded as the outstanding author i t ies on the s u b j e c t . M o r e o v e r , I d i s c o v e r e d that o n c e this o c c u r r e d the i r in terpretat ions became almost sacrosanct and other c r i t i c s p a i d them r e c o g n i t i o n and respect . * Everyth ing M c C o y sa id turned out to be t rue , i n c l u d i n g G o o d r i c h ' s r e l u c t a n c e to share wr i t ten m a t e r i a l . He never r e p l i e d to the let ter I wrote h im c o n c e r n i n g H o p p e r . 76 The relationship between an artist's paintings and the interpretive procedures of the professional critic is one of certification. Critics and reviewers act as professional authorities in authorizing specific interpretations for works of art. When Hopper avoided stating what his paintings intended, this was used by the critics to authorize the interpreta-tion they made of his works, and to sustain the picture of loneliness, alienation and time-lessness. In doing this study, I found three primary methods critics have used to authorize their interpretations. For the record they are: (1) the use of special insider's knowledge about the artist himself which is related to his work; (2) the use of one another's critical reviews as a resource which is drawn upon for establishing an interpretation; and/or (3) the critic's privileged use of the artist's own statements to authorize his own. In this chapter it is my intention to examine these methods in depth. (1) Insider's Knowledge Insider's Knowledge is a method frequently used for firming up an interpretation. Critical assessments of an artist's work are often enhanced by applying biographical informa-tion, showing how the artist has developed, relating stories and incidents that concern the production of a particular painting - noteworthy features that contribute to the general lore that already surrounds him. The use of insider's knowledge as it relates to an artist is import-ant in the construction of an artistic tradition. This kind of knowledge places the critic who possesses it in a unique position vis a vis the artist. In building up an interpretive tradition, critics having inside sources of material on an artist can then carve out a special role for them-selves in the process of mediation. In a sense, the critic has a set of negotiable securities that can be utilized for the practical purpose of generating written copy in addition to 77 strengthening his own pos i t ion as e x p e r t . In order to make the structure of Edward Hopper 's paint ings i n t e l l i g i b l e this method has been used e x t e n s i v e l y . This is p a r t i a l l y due to Hopper 's somewhat un ique pos i t ion i n r e l a t i o n to art h i s to ry . He has presented the professional r i d d l e - s o l v e r s w i t h an in te rest ing problem: In contrast to the volumes that have been w r i t t e n on artists l i k e D e l o c r o i x or M i c h e l a n g e l o , the amount of wr i t ten mate r ia l a v a i l a b l e on Hopper is s t i l l q u i t e s m a l l . Due to this shortage of wr i t ten m a t e r i a l , i t is far eas ier to become a Hopper " e x p e r t " than i t w o u l d be for c e r t a i n Renaissance artists who have had l i t e r a l l y hundreds of books w r i t t e n about t h e m . From what we saw e a r l i e r i t became c l e a r that G o o d r i c h used some of the m a t -e r i a l O ' D o h e r t y had w r i t t e n to enhance and we igh t the i n te rp re ta t ion he g a v e to Sun In an  Empty Room. W h e n he was d e s c r i b i n g l i g h t , mot i fs , and a haunt ing presence i t appeared as though he had o b t a i n e d his in fo rmat ion d i r e c t l y from O ' D o h e r t y ' s r e v i e w . That is due to the i n t e r - l o c k i n g q u a l i t y of this p a r t i c u l a r a u t h o r i z a t i o n p rocedure . In the case of Sun in an Empty Room, O ' D o h e r t y c a n be seen as h a v i n g access to s p e c i a l ins ider 's k n o w l e d g e . In his i n t e r v i e w w i t h Hopper features of the p a i n t i n g were discussed thus g i v i n g O ' D o h e r t y ' s i n te rp re ta t ion a p r i v i l e g e d status. In chapter one Burnham a c c o m p l i s h e d a s i m i l a r th ing when he desc r ibed M o n e t ' s p a i n t i n g to his reader . K n o w l e d g e about the art ist r e l a t e d to his work is used in this w a y to estab l ish and preserve an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . W e k n o w that the c o r r e c t i n te rp re ta t ion for Sun in an Empty Room was e s t a b -l ished through the use of c r i t i c a l rev iews used as a resource . H o w e v e r , for the sake of understanding how that pa in t i ng came to be seen as represent ing part of the essent ia l corpus let us r e - e x a m i n e what features of that p a i n t i n g c r i t i c s choose to t a l k a b o u t . 78 T e c h n i c a l l y s p e a k i n g , we know that the f i gu re has been pa in ted out of the p i c t u r e . The c r i t i c s themselves k e e p remind ing us of that f a c t . W h e n , for e x a m p l e , I f i rst read A . T . Baker 's r e v i e w in T i m e , I was q u i t e moved by the f lash of p leasant ins ight that I thought Baker 's in te rp re ta t ion had p r o d u c e d . In a l l three a c c o u n t s , Sun in an Empty Room is seen to have a ' haunt ing presence ' due to the e x i s t e n c e ' i n the p a i n t i n g ' of some k i n d of a p p a r i t i o n a l f o rm . O u r a t t e n t i o n is d i r e c t e d to a set of re la t ionsh ips w h i c h w o u l d have been impossib le to r e c o g n i z e i f c r i t i c s had not r e c o g n i z e d that absent f i gu re as a r e a l i t y and commun ica ted that s p e c i f i c feature to our awareness . The o b j e c t presents i tse l f but the f i gu re is not present unless the c r i t i c provides a frame of re fe rence w h i c h points to i t . The not ion of a 'haunted p r e s e n c e ' , of human f igures f i rst b e i n g i n c l u d e d and then pa in ted out , is not r e c o v e r a b l e from the p a i n t i n g i t se l f unless one of the f o l l o w i n g c o n d i t i o n s have been met f i rst : (1) There is a phenomenon sometimes assoc ia ted w i t h o lde r pa int ings c a l l e d ' p e n t i m e n t o ' . This occurs w h e n the sur face o i l begins to grow transparent and ob jects pa in ted u n d e r -neath beg in to show th rough . This c o u l d have happened in this c a s e , but i t g e n e r a l l y occurs w i t h o i l paint ings that are four or f i v e hundred years o l d . S i n c e none of Hopper 's paint ings are over 75 years o l d , we c a n ru le pent imento out as a p o s s i b i l i t y . (2) The c r i t i c has access to s p e c i a l in fo rmat ion and a n e c d o t a l mate r ia l c o n c e r n i n g the ar t is t 's p a i n t i n g techn iques ( in this i n s t a n c e , O ' D o h e r t y ' s i n t e r v i e w w i t h Edward and J o Hopper ) . (3) The c r i t i c has f a m i l i a r i z e d h imsel f w i t h some of the accounts about the art ist w r i t t e n by f e l l o w c r i t i c s and has done so prior to the a c t u a l w r i t i n g of his own r e v i e w . 79 Here is how A . T . Baker descr ibed the f i gu re i n Sun in an Empty Room when he wrote his r e v i e w : "Hopper had o r i g i n a l l y p l a c e d a fema le f i gu re in the room and then pa in ted it ou t . The resu l t ing p ic tu re is haunted b y a sense of a presence that is not t he re , of a room that has just been l e f t . " 7 3 A f e m a l e f i g u r e ! By the t ime Baker wr i tes about this a p p a r i t i o n i t has a c q u i r e d a s p e c i f i c s e x . In r e a l i t y , the f i g u r e has been pa in ted out of the p ic tu re and is now n o n -e x i s t e n t . Y e t the c r i t i c s persist in b r i ng ing this point to our a t t e n t i o n . If they d i d not bother to ment ion the f i g u r e , then another th ing happens . Sun i n an Empty Room becomes just t h a t . Its a m b i g u i t y ceases to e x i s t . It is just an empty room and there is no th ing more to i t . In f a c t , one begins to f e e l that i f i t were not for the ghost story that c r i t i c s k e e p r e p e a t i n g , Sun i n an Empty Room might very w e l l have been seen as a p a i n t i n g that d i d not embody the features that c r i t i c s have t a l k e d a b o u t . Thus w e c a n see that the products a t t r ibu ted to Hopper 's paint ings are of the result of the i n te rp re t i ve procedures used by the c r i t i c s . In d e s c r i b i n g Sun i n an Empty Room, the c r i t i c s have g i v e n the r e a d e r / v i e w e r a set of instruct ions for how he c a n v i e w i t s i m i l a r l y . By using the o c r i t i c ' s desc r ip t i on as a set of assembly ins t ruct ions , anyone w i s h i n g to a c -compl i sh a s i m i l a r i n te rp re ta t ion w o u l d be a b l e to do s o . By t a k i n g a quote from the ar t is t 's own l i p s , "I 'm a f ter m e " , w h i c h a l l e g e d l y leg i t imates Hopper 's own personal i n ten t ions , and then f o l l o w i n g i t u p w i t h the 'haunt ing presence ' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , a document is produced w h i c h accompan ies the p a i n t i n g . It g ives strength to an a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g i n te rp re ta t ion of Hopper 's w o r k , and makes i t c o n s i d e r a b l y more d i f f i c u l t for anyone i n the future to come a l o n g and substitute an a l t e r n a t i v e . In the pa in t i ng Two Comedians (1965) , G o o d r i c h uses some of his own ins ider 's k n o w l e d g e i n order to charge the pa in t i ng w i t h m e a n i n g . The two f igures are Edward and J o Hopper because M r s . Hopper con f i rmed that f a c t to G o o d r i c h . G o o d r i c h ' s i n t e r p r e t a -t ion is taken ser ious ly because of who he is - c l ose f r i e n d of the Hopper ' s , former d i r e c t o r of the W h i t n e y - a l l t ha t . A s Smith has n o t e d , " O n e important res t r i c t i on on the r e a d e r / hearer 's be ing a b l e to work on the a c c o u n t is because of a u t h o r i z a t i o n rules w h i c h g i v e 'witnesses a p r i v i l e g e d status versus the r e a d e r / h e a r e r . This consequence is to be u n d e r -stood as a product of the s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n of the a c c o u n t w h i c h p laces the r e a d e r / h e a r e r at a d isadvantage w i t h respect to those who were members of the e v e n t s . " His v i e w p o i n t is an e x c e l l e n t instrument for a u t h o r i z i n g an i n te rp re ta t ion because of what is known about h i m . C o m b i n e the longt ime f r i endsh ip between G o o d r i c h and the Hoppers , G o o d r i c h ' s d is t ingu ished reputat ion i n the f i e l d of art c r i t i c i s m , and the authorsh ip of the major work c o n c e r n i n g Hopper , and G o o d r i c h comes off l o o k i n g l i k e one of the l e a d i n g author i t ies on the s u b j e c t . Y e t there is another w a y ins ider 's k n o w l e d g e is used in art c r i t i c i s m and it is worth cons ide r ing h e r e . This p a r t i c u l a r ins tance o c c u r r e d a f ter Hopper had d i e d and was no longer around to " rumble i n c o n t r a d i c t i o n " . G o o d r i c h had this to say about Two C o m - edians: " I l lness i n 1964 kept h im from w o r k , but in 1965 came C h a i r Car , w h i c h showed no s ign of f a i l i n g powers. That year he d i d his last p a i n t i n g , Two C o m e d i a n s . It is a personal statement ; the t a l l ma le c o m e d i a n and the smal l f e m i n i n e c o m e d i a n who he is present ing to the p u b l i c a re o b v i o u s l y himself and J o H o p p e r . . . a f a c t w h i c h she h e r -se l f con f i rmed to m e . " 74 This Two Comed ians story i l lust rates a d i f fe rent k i n d of i n t e r p r e t i v e procedure b e l o v e d by the c r i t i c s . It c o u l d be desc r ibed as " the d e v i c e of the h idden s y m b o l i c m e a n -i n g . " It is a major c r i t i c a l resource because i t usua l l y i nvo l ves a s p e c i a l k n o w l e d g e of pa inter and p a i n t i n g . S p e c i a l l y when i t takes a s p e c i a l k n o w l e d g e e v e n to know that there is a h idden m e a n i n g , as in this c a s e . The work of the F lemish a r t i s t , Hieronymus Bosch is another case in po in t . Y o u cannot r e a l l y understand his work w i thou t k n o w i n g what the h idden mean ing is for his d e p i c t i o n s of paradise or h e l l . This i n t e r p r e t i v e procedure i n v o l v e s the set t ing up of structure where there is an appea rance mean ing and the " r e a l " mean ing ; the " f a c e v a l u e " of the o b j e c t and "what 's beh ind i t " . This d e v i c e creates the st ructure of the r i d d l e by s u p p l y i n g a s o l u t i o n . In C a p e C o d M o r n i n g we saw how the p a i n t i n g was charged with mean ing and made i n t e l l i g i b l e by showing the r e a d e r / v i e w e r f i rst what set of in terpretat ions are not a p p l i -c a b l e and then showing him what set i s . In Two Comedians we see M r s . Hopper be ing used a g a i n as an in terpreter for a p a i n t i n g . This t ime she is used to supp ly the answer for the rea l meaning of the p a i n t i n g . In both cases the na r ra t i ve p a i n t i n g t r a d i t i o n is used but for d i f fe rent purposes. In the case of C a p e C o d M o r n i n g , the c r i t i c is us ing M r s . Hopper 's statement for the purpose of showing that Hopper d i d not agree w i t h her i n te rp re ta t ion a n d , fu r thermore , that his p a i n t -ings do not g i v e off an e x p l i c i t s tory . In the case of the Two Comedians M r s . Hopper 's r e -marks have been emp loyed by G o o d r i c h to prov ide the " rea l m e a n i n g " for the p a i n t i n g w h i c h l ies beh ind its " f a c e v a l u e " m e a n i n g . The s t o r y - t e l l i n g e lements were s e l e c t e d b e -cause they were important for the c r i t i c to c o m p l e t e his r i d d l e . G i v e n another set of v i e w -ing instruct ions for d e c i p h e r i n g this p a i n t i n g , other elements w o u l d have been stressed, not whether Edward and J o were b o w i n g out for the last t i m e . The h idden mean ing b e h i n d Two Comedians a lso serves the purpose of c l e a n i n g up and t i d y i n g the e x i s t i n g loose ends. Just as the p o l i c e . d o not l i k e to have a series of unso lved cr imes on the i r books , ne i ther does art history l i k e to have any loose ends l y i n g around to c o m p l i c a t e matters . G r e a t pa in t i ng careers must come to an e n d . A n d what more f i t t i n g w a y than w i t h the Hoppers b o w i n g out together , thus b r i ng ing to an end a long and d is t ingu ished pa in t ing c a r e e r . To the c r i t i c , i t ' s the last p a i n t i n g ; a husband and w i f e team say ing the i r last goodbyes to the p u b l i c . Let us focus our a t ten t ion on the desc r ip t i on of the two c o m e d i a n s . The t a l l male c o m e d i a n and the smal l f e m a l e c o m e d i a n are made i n t e l l i g i b l e as Edward and J o Hopper o n l y a f ter the read ing of G o o d r i c h ' s a c c o u n t w h i c h c o n v e n i e n t l y p rov ided the readi w i t h both the e x p l a n a t i o n and the s o l u t i o n . W e cannot get those cues by ou rse lves . . They are not r e c o v e r a b l e from the p a i n t i n g i t se l f unless the r e a d e r / v i e w e r is p rov ided w i t h the appropr ia te tag l i n e . . . " a f a c t w h i c h she hersel f con f i rmed to m e . " James R. M e l l o w ' s comments i n The N e w Y o r k Times M a g a z i n e have a c lose resemblence to the remarks G o o d r i c h has made about Two Comed ians w i t h the e x c e p t i o n of one important e lement : from what M e l l o w says about the pa in t i ng i t is i m p l i e d that M r s . Hopper had t o l d M e l l o w about the subject matter: "Two C o m e d i a n s " (1965) . . . Edward Hopper 's last p a i n t i n g , c o m p l e t e d two years before his d e a t h , touches upon one of the major themes of his w o r k , the t h e a t r i c a l w o r l d . M r s . Hopper a c k n o w l e d g e d before her own death in 1968 that the two comedians b o w i n g out represented her and her h u s b a n d . " 8 3 This quote has a c o n v e n i e n t amb igu i t y to i t as i t app l i es to M r s . Hopper 's a c k n o w l e d g m e n t of the c r u c i a l m e a n i n g - g i v i n g f a c t . To whom d i d M r s . Hopper a c k n o w -ledge this f a c t ? A s p e c i f i c set of v i e w i n g instruct ions have been g i v e n the v i e w e r for Two Comed ians and the set of instruct ions has been r e p e a t e d . W e have here a case where two c r i t i c s have chosen i d e n t i c a l b i o g r a p h i c a l sources for mak ing the i r i n te rp re ta t ions , have s u c c e e d e d i n p u l l i n g out the same set of v i e w i n g ins t ruct ions , and have then passed them on to the i r r e a d e r / v i e w e r s . A consensus is a g a i n p roduced , and we see yet another method for es tab l i sh ing i n t e r p r e t i v e t rad i t ions f i r m l y . A d i f fe rent approach c a n l e a d us to the same c o n c l u s i o n . In the C a p e C o d M o r n i n g e x a m p l e , M r s . Hopper 's i n te rp re ta t ion is made before H o p p e r ' s . In Two Comed ians c o n f i r m a t i o n by M r s . Hopper is i n c l u d e d af ter the o r i g i n a l assert ion was made , but we c a n assume that i t was made to the c r i t i c before the r e v i e w was w r i t t e n . In other words, the c r i t i c had that k n o w l e d g e a v a i l a b l e to him prior to his. w r i t i n g the r e v i e w . There fore , how he o r g a n i z e d the a c c o u n t for r ead ing becomes impor tant . If he had sa id J o Hopper had i n -formed him that the two comedians were hersel f and Edward , then i t w o u l d have been r e d u n d -ant to say that the two comedians are o b v i o u s l y Edward and J o . H o w e v e r , by turn ing the order a r o u n d , the c r i t i c c a n employ a set of instruct ions in a w a y that w i l l get maximum use out of the a v a i l a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n , as w e l l as f i t the pa in t i ng in to an a l r e a d y ex i s t i ng t r a d i t i o n . A n in tegra l part of the p a c k a g e of d i rec t i ons w h i c h compr ise the v i e w i n g i n -struct ions is to show what the ar t is t 's intent was and then prov ide m o t i v a t i o n a l exp lana t ions that l e a d the v i e w e r to see these aspects of the p a i n t i n g . The o r i g i n a l d e f i n i t i o n of who the two comedians are needs the l ines 'a f a c t w h i c h she hersel f con f i rmed to me 1 or ' M r s . Hopper a c k n o w l e d g e d before her own death in 1968 that the two comedians bowing out represent her and her husband 1 , i n order to sustain i t s e l f . W i t h o u t the q u a l i f y i n g remarks, the in te rp re ta t ion w o u l d not be poss ib le . What I am t ry ing to get at here is how c e r t a i n in fo rmat ion is u t i l i z e d i n the const ruct ion of an a c c o u n t . The essent ia l ' f a c t s ' c o n c e r n i n g Two Comed ians w e r e not s e l e c t e d . at random. The c r i t i c s have a reservoir of in fo rmat ion to draw from and they s e l e c t e d elements from the pa in t ing that w o u l d go toward mak ing a p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r p r e t a -t i on sound c o n v i n c i n g . J o Hopper 's remark w o u l d have been used for another purpose e n -t i r e l y i f Hopper had been a l i v e and the c r i t i c had been t r y ing to l o c a t e the p a i n t i n g in a n -other corner of the i n te rp re t i ve t r a d i t i o n . The w a y both G o o d r i c h and M e l l o w have p r e -sented the mater ia l to the i r r e a d e r / v i e w e r s , " J o and Edward Hopper b o w i n g o u t " has been a t t r ibu ted to Two Comedians as its sub ject mat te r . To see how q u i c k l y this feature became i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d as the i n te rp re ta t ion of Two C o m e d i a n s , le t us look at a port ion of one more r e v i e w . The f o l l o w i n g a c c o u n t was wr i t ten by Bryan Robertson when he r e v i e w e d G o o d r i c h ' s book for The N e w Y o r k R e v i e w of Books : "There is much e v i d e n c e that Hopper sometimes used h i m -self and his w i f e as models o r , more a c c u r a t e l y , I b e l i e v e , cast them both in the requ is i te r o l e s . His last p a i n t i n g , Bowing O u t (1965) shows Hopper w i t h his w i f e i n t h e a t r i -c a l costumes on a darkened s tage . . " ^ Robertson hros made a mistake h e r e , and i t is a r e v e a l i n g o n e . For there was never a pa in t i ng e n t i t l e d Bowing O u t done by Hopper . I have l o o k e d c a r e f u l l y for this phantom and 85 i t does nbt e x i s t . I am c o n v i n c e d he is t a l k i n g here of the pa in t i ng Two C o m e d i a n s . O n e w o u l d l i k e to ask Robertson how he came up w i t h the t i t l e Bowing O u t . M o r e o v e r , how i t was that he came to the c o n c l u s i o n that Hopper w o u l d cast h imsel f and his w i f e "both in the requ is i te r o l e s " . If Robertson means by ' r equ i s i te ' that i t is essent ia l that J o and Edward Hopper be seen as the two f igures " i n t h e a t r i c a l costume on a da rkened s t a g e " i n order to come up w i t h the t i t l e Bowing O u t then I w o u l d agree w i t h h i m . It is requ is i te for h i m . If is a lso requ is i te for the r e a d e r / v i e w e r to have that set of instruct ions so that he too c a n see what Robertson is t a l k i n g a b o u t . In l e a v i n g this s e c t i o n I w o u l d l i k e to l e a v e the reader w i t h this thought . It was something that J o h n Dewey o n c e sa id c o n c e r n i n g s p e c i a l ins ider 's k n o w l e d g e . D e w e y noted that o f ten these " b i o g r a p h i c a l i nc iden ts are g i v e n as substitutes for a p p r e c i a t i o n of the p a i n t i n g " . Further , he sa id that " k n o w l e d g e of s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s of p roduct ion i s , when i t is r e a l l y k n o w l e d g e , of genu ine v a l u e . But i t is no substitute for understanding of the ob jec t in its own q u a l i t i e s and r e l a t i o n s . " 7 7 (2) Rev iews as Resources C r i t i c s w i l l o f ten construct the i r in terpretat ions by using one another 's w r i t t e n r e v i e w s . Rev iews that have been wr i t ten by other c r i t i c s c a n be seen as a resource that is drawn upon for further es tab l i sh ing an emerg ing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Both the i n te rp re ta t ion for Sun i n an Empty Room and Two Comedians was estab l ished using this p rocedure . What had been a t t r ibu ted to the paint ings in e a r l i e r rev iews was then p i c k e d up and r e c y c l e d in la te r a c c o u n t s . For both pa int ings there was a s i m i l a r use of language and concepts w h i c h a f -f e c t e d the c h a r a c t e r of the r e v i e w s . The in te rp re ta t ion of Two Comed ians has an agreed and understood mean ing w h i c h is r e c o g n i z a b l e in e a c h r e v i e w . The same holds true for 6-6 Sun in an Empty Room. We see the same interpretat ions r e p e a t e d , we see the same a n e c -dote used a g a i n and a g a i n . The c r i t i c s b u i l d on to one another 's work an a u t h o r i z a t i o n w h i c h is almost c h a i n - l i k e . The result is that a p a r t i c u l a r w a y of understanding the m e a n -ing of those paint ings gets b u i l t in to them as a sort of standard c r i t i c a l r esou rce . (3) C r i t i c ' s P r i v i l e g e d Interpretat ions Insider's k n o w l e d g e o n l y works as an a u t h o r i z i n g procedure as long as the art ist h imsel f is in agreement w i t h the c o n v e n t i o n a l i n te rp re ta t ion of his w o r k . If that is the case then the art ist 's i n te rp re ta t ion is t reated as a s p e c i a l p r i v i l e g e d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The c r i t i c w i l l use the art ist 's own words to assist h im in p roduc ing an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . W i t h Hopper , however , this was not the c a s e . He was not ve ry c o - o p e r a t i v e in go ing a l o n g w i t h what the c r i t i c s s a i d . A s Squ i r r i e noted "Hopper appeared more interested in what his w i f e or I had to say than in say ing any th ing h i m s e l f . " J o h n M o r s e was f a c e d w i t h a s i m i l a r s i tua t ion when he i n t e r v i e w e d H o p p e r . Both he and Hopper were l o o k i n g through a series of photographs of Hopper pa int ings one day at the W h i t n e y M u s e u m . Dur ing the i n t e r v i e w Hopper reached for one photograph in the p i l e : "That 's not b a d " , he s a i d . The i n t e r v i e w f o l l o w s : M O R S E : " M r . Hopper , about that p ic tu re you p i c k e d up -Apar tment House , pa in ted i n 1923 . I th ink y o u ' l l be i n -terested to know that both M r . G o o d r i c h and I f e l t that in this pa in t i ng you h a d , in a sense, c r y s t a l l i z e d the s ty le that you were to d e v e l o p , and have c o n t i n u e d ever s i n c e . Do you a g r e e ? " H O P P E R : " Y e s , I th ink that is s o . " M O R S E : " D o you r e c a l l where i t was p a i n t e d ? " H O P P E R : "It was pa in ted in my studio on Washington Square . that 's a l l I c a n remember about i t " . 8 7 "When I asked him i f there were any other p ictures that a p p e a l e d to him more than others , he p i c k e d up another photograph . H O P P E R : " W e l l , I th ink that one d i d . " M O R S E : " C a p e C o d M o r n i n g , do you r e c a l l pa in t i ng i t ? Was i t a p leasure to p a i n t , as w e l l as look at t o d a y ? " H O P P E R : " W e l l , t hey ' re a pleasure i n a sense, and yet they ' re a l l hard work for m e . That's why I c a n ' t say its pure p leasure . There's so much t e c h n i c a l c o n c e r n i n v o l v e d . " M O R S E : " W h y , t h e n , do you l i k e i t t oday , do you t h i n k ? " H O P P E R : " W e l l , as I say , i t perhaps comes nearer to my thought about such things than many of the others . That 's a l l I c a n say about i t . " • 78 This is the k i n d of i n t e r v i e w Hopper usua l l y gave o u t . There was a l w a y s an unwi l l i ngness on his part to d e c l a r e what his pa int ings i n t e n d e d . He w o u l d say very l i t t l e that c o u l d be used to press an i n te rp re ta t ion and he g a v e his i n te rv iewers f e w handles to grab ho ld o f . By the same t o k e n , Hopper h imsel f d i d not w r i t e a great d e a l . There fo re , there is a l i m i t e d number of instruct ions from the art ist h imsel f as to how his pa int ings should be v i e w e d and i n t e r p r e t e d . In the case where the art ist has wr i t ten a great d e a l , the i n t e r p r e -ta t ion of the work correspondsbl.argely w i t h what the art ist has to say about i t . For what the pa inter has to say c o n c e r n i n g his work has p r io r i t y over what the c r i t i c says . The pa inter 's m o t i v a t i o n a l in tent ions are cons idered ser ious ly as an essent ia l segment of the w h o l e . W e c o u l d say that the pa inter 's vers ion is t reated as the p r i v i l e g e d v e r s i o n . It is d i f f i c u l t to assign motives and exp lanat ions cont rary to those that the art ist h imsel f made when he d i d the w o r k . In cases l i k e t h i s , we o f ten f i n d what the art ist has sa id and what the c r i t i c has sa id to be in c lose harmony. N o t necessar i l y because any of i t is t rue , but b e c a u s e , from the ground b reak ing ceremonies o n w a r d , the t rad i t i on has been b u i l t , using what the art ist has sa id about his w o r k , and a lways k e e p i n g that in mind as the rev iews are w r i t t e n . 8 8 Hopper d i d n o t w r i t e m u c h , h o w e v e r . When I f i rst began do ing research on him I soon d i scove red that I was go ing to have c e r t a i n problems gather ing pr imary source m a t e r i a l . The f i rst i n d i c a t i o n that Hopper had not wr i t ten ve ry much came when I kept runn ing into the same quote t ime af ter t i m e . A n y b o d y who has ever wr i t ten a n y t h i n g on Hopper , and who wanted to b a c k i t up w i t h something the art ist h imsel f had s a i d , used some part of an i n t r o d u c t i o n he wrote for The Museum of M o d e r n A r t e x h i b i t i o n c a t a l o g back in 1 9 3 3 . * O u t s i d e of this one statement he had wr i t ten l i t t l e . He o n c e wrote Forbes W a t s o n , then ed i tor of the A r t s , "I sweat b lood when I w r i t e and a th ing that you c o u l d probab ly do in a day w o u l d take me I am sure a week or t w o . " 7 ^ Two things o c c u r as a consequence of the smal l amount of wr i t ten mater ia l by or on Hopper . F i rst , anybody interested in learn ing about him is dependent on the f e w good rev iews and the l i m i t e d amount of other mate r ia l a v a i l a b l e on h i m . S e c o n d l y , this l i m i t e d amount of mate r ia l a lso serves the c r i t i c ' s purpose i n that i t permits c e r t a i n l i be r t i es w i t h the a u t h o r i z a t i o n of i n te rp re ta t i ons . Even Hopper 's r e l u c t a n c e to state what his p a i n t -ings are about is turned in to an a d v a n t a g e . Interpretat ions that a c r i t i c w o u l d not be p e r -mi t ted to tamper w i t h under cond i t i ons where the art ist has been a p r o l i f i c wr i te r c a n now be ignored or m o d i f i e d . In this sense, Hopper provides an obv ious advantage to c r i t i c s . They c a n say w h a t e v e r they choose about one of his paint ings w i thout wor ry ing that an ex tens i ve body of l i t e ra tu re (wr i t ten by the art ist) exists to c o n t r a d i c t something that has been s a i d . In Hopper 's case the art ist is not g i v e n a p r i v i l e g e d vers ion at a l l . In f a c t , as the f o l l o w i n g e x c e r p t shows, the art ist 's i n te rp re ta t ion is p l a y e d d o w n . The w a y the * The quote is reproduced in A p p e n d i x A i n t o t a l . S9 e x p l a n a t i o n is o r g a n i z e d f i rst plants the thought the c r i t i c h imsel f wants the reader to h a v e , and t h e n , so as not to be a c c u s e d of b e i n g h i s t o r i c a l l y i n a c c u r a t e , a lso shows that the art ist d i d not agree w i t h this i n te rp re ta t ion : "The l ight in Hopper 's pa int ings a lways under l ines the a l i e n a -t ion of A m e r i c a n l i f e , the i s o l a t e d and l o n e l y aspects of A m e r i -c a n e x p e r i e n c e , a l though the art ist t a c i t u r n l y d i s c l a i m e d any i n ten t ion of c r e a t i n g such e f f e c t s . O f one p a i n t i n g that st rongly suggests those assoc iat ions Hopper wrote : 'This p ic tu re is an attempt to pa int sun l ight as w h i t e w i t h almost or no y e l l o w p i g -ment i n the w h i t e . A n y p s y c h o l o g i c i d e a w i l l have to be s u p -p l i e d by the v i e w e r . " Dav idson uses the same t e c h n i q u e here as many a good cour t l awyer w i l l do when he asks the jury to d isregard the f o l l o w i n g test imony , k n o w i n g f u l l w e l l that they c a n n o t . The c o n t r a d i c t o r y e v i d e n c e has been g i v e n . A n inst ruct ion to d isregard the i n -fo rmat ion o n l y serves to emphas ize its i m p o r t a n c e . Furthermore, the word ' t a c i t u r n l y ' is a loaded w o r d . M y Webster 's N e w C o l l e g i a t e D i c t i o n a r y def ines ' t a c i t u r n l y ' as " h a b i t u a l l y s i l e n t ; not g i v e n to c o n v e r s a t i o n . " It means that somebody does not ta lk very m u c h , as was indeed the case w i t h Hoppe r . The w a y Dav idson uses i t , however , is to i m p l y that because Hopper never sa id any th ing that w o u l d go against this i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , we c a n cons ider his i n te rp re ta t ion to be the co r rec t one af ter a l l . If a t r ad i t i on has been b u i l t up around an ar t is t 's work and the ar t is t 's own s t a t e -ments have been g i v e n secondary i m p o r t a n c e , then the c r i t i c must p lay down the impor tance of the art ist 's words a l together and stress them as l i t t l e as poss ib le . Cons ide r what L l o y d G o o d r i c h does i n the f o l l o w i n g : " P a r t i c u l a r l y in his last f i f t e e n years or s o , c e r t a i n pa int ings r e v e a l e d the i r r e c t i l i n e a r and angu la r structure even more c l e a r l y . H i g h N o o n , for e x a m p l e , is almost pure g e o -metry; the dominant stra ight l ines and acu te a n g l e s , the emphat ic pattern of sun l ight and shadow, the extreme s i m p l i f i c a t i o n and utter c l a r i t y - a l l c rea te a des ign that has interest ing pa ra l l e l s w i t h geomet r ic a b s t r a c t i o n . (This is a compar i son , i n c i d e n t a l l y , that Hopper d i d not c a r e for ; when I t o l d him that i n a l ec tu re I had used a s l i d e of H i g h  N o o n together w i t h a M o n d r i a n , his o n l y comment was , ' Y o u k i l l m e ' . ) Even more seve re l y geomet r ic is Rooms by  the S e a ; an empty room w i t h an open doorway l o o k i n g out on b lue w a t e r , and sun l ight f a l l i n g in a d i a g o n a l pattern on the w a l l and f l oo r - a pa in t i ng made up o n l y of i n te r re la t ions of l i g h t , s p a c e , and a f e w bare forms. A n d i n 1940, when he was s e v e n t y - e i g h t , he produced one of his bo ldes t , most v i g -orous, and most uncompromis ing ly angu la r works , S e c o n d  Storey S u n l i g h t . (In answer ing a quest ionna i re from the W h i t n e y Museum when it purchased the p a i n t i n g , his o n l y statement as to its sub ject was: 'This p ic tu re is an attempt to pa int sun l ight as w h i t e , w i t h almost or no y e l l o w pigment i n the w h i t e . A n y p s y c h o l o g i c \; i d e a w i l l have to be supp l i ed by the v i e w e r ' . " ' 8 ' 1 In two p laces i n the above paragraph , ' Y o u k i l l me' and 'This p ic tu re is an attempt t o . . . 1 , G o o d r i c h has used Hopper 's wr i t ten or stated v e r s i o n . He mentions them i n passing, but not to bolster his own i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . It is almost as i f the ar t is t 's own i n t e r p r e -ta t i on is a l l o w e d or t o l e r a t e d due to his a n n o y i n g but u n d e n i a b l e a b i l i t y to produce the work of art the c r i t i c is t a l k i n g a b o u t . If we take Hopper 's statement ' Y o u k i l l m e ' , to mean that he d i d not necessar i l y agree w i t h G o o d r i c h ' s i n te rp re ta t ion of ' i n te rest ing pa ra l l e l s w i t h geomet r ic a b s t r a c t i o n s ' , as i ndeed G o o d r i c h himself s tates , then i t leads us b a c k to the cen t ra l point in q u e s t i o n . A f t e r G o o d r i c h has e x p l a i n e d to his a u d i e n c e that Hopper d i d not c a r e for that compar i son , he goes o n , a u d a c i o u s l y c o n t i n u i n g w i t h his own geomet r ic interpre t a t i o n . ' Y o u k i l l m e ' , gets sandwiched in between geomet r ic interpretat ions of H i g h N o o n and Rooms by the S e a . G o o d r i c h ' s i n t r o d u c t i o n of p a r a l l e l s and geomet r ic abstract ions shows another in terest ing point as w e l l . Here is the f i rst use of another method of i n t e r p r e t -i n g what is go ing on i n the pa int ings ; another possible set of assembly i ns t ruc t ions . That 91 Hopper d i d not l i k e the in te rp re ta t ion is of l i t t l e i m p o r t a n c e . A f t e r a l l , when the c r i t i c s were s a y i n g his work was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by lone l iness and a l i e n a t i o n , they never bothered to cons ider what he s a i d , why should they start n o w ? If we remember how the in te rp re ta t ion of Hopper came down to us in the f i rst p l a c e , then i t is e q u a l l y as easy to i m a g i n e another set of in terpretat ions d e v e l o p i n g at another t i m e . C r i t i c s c o u l d beg in to use this G o o d r i c h i n te rp re ta t ion as the s tar t ing point and go on from the re . S i n c e what the art ist h imsel f sa id never seemed to have p l a y e d an important r o l e i n the m e d i a t i o n of the t r a d i t i o n a n y w a y , his words c o u l d be ignored here as e a s i l y as they were b a c k in 1929 when he wrote Forbes Watson to t e l l him that he was not responsib le for the 'Aus te r i t y w i thout loss of emot ion ' q u o t e . Lawrence C a m p b e l l a lso n o t i c e d this e x c h a n g e between G o o d r i c h and Hopper : "In his most recent of severa l books and essays on Hopper , L l o y d G o o d r i c h r e c a l l s Hopper 's r e a c t i o n when t o l d that G o o d r i c h , in a l e c t u r e , had p ro jec ted two s l ides on the s c r e e n , s ide by s i d e , one of Hopper 's H i g h N o o n , the other of a pa in t i ng by M o n d r i a n . Hopper 's comment was , " Y o u k i l l m e . " R ight he was ! For the oppression of a Hopper pa in t i ng is p r e c i s e l y what M o n d r i a n spent a l i f e t i m e e l i m i -na t ing from his own w o r k . In any M o n d r i a n s u b j e c t , content and form are paradigms of e a c h o ther , and e a c h work is an attempt at g e t t i n g a l i t t l e b i t c lose r to r e a l i t y , to that s o m e -th ing w h i c h L u d w i g T i e c k , the G e r m a n R o m a n t i c , f i rst spoke of as hav ing been lost to modern l i f e . A Hopper p a i n t i n g , no matter how ' r e a l ' i t looks as a d e p i c t e d s c e n e , is ne i ther " r e a l " as> a d e p i c t i o n of an a c t u a l p l a c e , nor is the e x p e r i e n c e d e s -c r i b e d any th ing more than a h i g h l y s u b j e c t i v e o n e , despi te its enormous power . A Hopper p a i n t i n g , any Hopper p a i n t i n g , is l i k e a pa in fu l memory of the boredom of c h i l d h o o d and of eve ryday yesterdays . It is a d i s t i l l a t i o n or abs t rac t ion of such grey moods. " - ^ 92 C a m p b e l l does an in terest ing th ing h e r e . He starts out a g r e e i n g w i t h Hopper and d isagree ing w i t h G o o d r i c h . H o w e v e r , a f ter he has gone through M o n d r i a n , L u d w i g T i e c k , and G e r m a n Romant ic i sm, the in te rp re ta t ion we have of Hopper is b a c k to where i t was prior to the G o o d r i c h "geometr ic a b s t r a c t i o n " . A l t h o u g h i t is not my i n t e n t i o n to p roceed a l o n g these l ines any further at this t i m e , this may po int to the beg inn ings of yet another in te rp re ta t ion of Hopper start ing to d e v e l o p . C a m p b e l l may have problems " s e e i n g " what G o o d r i c h says is there s imp ly because he has not r e c e i v e d enough ins t ruct ion i n see ing Hopper pa int ings i n that w a y . A n o t h e r c r i t i c who drew upon a u t h o r i z a t i o n procedures that ove r ru led Hopper was O ' D o h e r t y . In the f o l l o w i n g a c c o u n t we even see him go so far as to try to change what the art ist 's own v e r b a l impressions were : "From a l l this one c o u l d e a s i l y - as many have done - make a legend of lone l iness and i s o l a t i o n , f i n d i n g p len ty to support i t . It w o u l d h a v e , and has, a c e r t a i n truth but for the wrong reasons. He fee ls the c r i t i c s ' emphasis on the i s o l a t i o n of his f igures is a sent imenta l d is tor t ion of the facts as he presents them. 'The lonel iness th ing is o v e r d o n e . It formulates something you don ' t want f o r m u l a t e d . Renoir says i t w e l l : 'The most i m p o r t -ant e lement in a p ic tu re cannot be d e f i n e d ' . . . c a n n o t be e x -p l a i n e d , perhaps, is b e t t e r . ' In t r y ing to e x p l a i n this i n e x p l i -c a b l e he denies i n f l u e n c e s . "I have no i n f l u e n c e s r e a l l y . I don ' t mean that i n a c o n c e i t e d w a y . Every art ist has a co re of o r i g i n a l i t y - a core of i d e n t i t y that is your o w n . ' He r e -fused to go fu r ther . 'I don ' t know what my i d e n t i t y i s . The c r i t i c s g i v e you an i d e n t i t y . A n d sometimes, e v e n , you g i v e i t a p u s h . ' " 8 3 O ' D o h e r t y ' s r e v i e w a r t i c l e is g rac ious enough to i n c l u d e the art ist 's own e v a l u a -t i on of his w o r k . N e v e r t h e l e s s , as we c a n see by this next e x c e r p t , O ' D o h e r t y returns to the issue t ry ing to get Hopper to a l t e r his own in te rp re ta t ion : " S i n c e he does not b r ing back d i r e c t reports from that 'vast and v a r i e d in te r io r r e a l m , ' I returned ha l f a year later to the same subject of i s o l a t i o n , a t tempt ing w i t h cunn ing and gradualness to surprise that t rout , shy of l i g h t , l u rk ing in the shadows of his m i n d . He was s i t -t i ng i n the same c h a i r , l ean ing f o r w a r d , the a i r outs ide thunder ing w i t h b i rds , the square b e l o w stony w i t h s u n -l i g h t . O u r conversat ions , e s p e c i a l l y in the f i rst f e w years , were o f ten s e a s o n a l , months between sentences , p i c k i n g them up where we lef t o f f . ' Y o u r e a l l y th ink the l o n e l i -ness th ing is o v e r d o n e ? ' His eye u n l a t c h e d from me and went off to stare at the w a l l . ' W e l l , your pa int ings are spar ing and empty , those peop le are insu la ted w i t h s p a c e . ' He thought for a moment . The trout t rembled under the r o c k . ' M a y b e they ' re r i g h t , ' he sa id at l as t , mean ing the c r i t i c s , and the trout and he and I and eve ry th ing r e c e d e d into the y a w n of his pess im ism. " 84 It w o u l d seem from the e v i d e n c e c o l l e c t e d here that o n c e the bas ic fundamenta l i n te rp re ta t ion has been f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h e d , the c r i t i c s have a series of procedures that c a n be u t i l i z e d in order to preserve and m a i n t a i n its i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Even in l ight of a l t e r n a t i v e in terpretat ions g i v e n by a c r i t i c or the art ist h imse l f . W e c a n see that there are at least two ways to m a i n t a i n the i n te rp re ta t ion d e s -p i te a painter 's own v o i c e d o b j e c t i o n s . In the case of G o o d r i c h , Hopper 's own o p i n i o n is noth ing more than a somewhat in terest ing en t ree , sandwiched between a main course of geomet r ic forms. In the case of C a m p b e l l , Hopper 's own o p i n i o n is emp loyed to b r ing the r e v i e w b a c k around to where C a m p b e l l wants i t , i . e . , d e s c r i b i n g the p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i m e n -sions that c r i t i c s have used for fo r ty yea rs . If we c a n t a k e O ' D o h e r t y at his w o r d , he even went so far as to try and change the ar t is t 's own statement c o n c e r n i n g his w o r k . To return to a sub ject a ha l f year l a t e r , "with c u n n i n g and gradualness to surpr ise ' str ikes me as the a c t i o n of someone w i t h a vested interest to preserve, and he even made a consc ious effort to change o p i n i o n for the r e c o r d . " W e l l , your paint ings are spar ing and empty , those peop le are i nsu la ted w i t h s p a c e " , is a statement made by someone accustomed to g i v i n g ins t ruct ions . In this case he even goes so far as to try and t e l l the art ist h imsel f what his work is a l l about . ' M a y b e they ' re r i g h t 1 , c o u l d be construed as Hopper f i n a l l y a c k n o w l e d g i n g the c r i t i c s ' o p i n i o n of his work as be ing c o r r e c t . It c o u l d be in terpreted as a p o l i t e statement by a man who was s imp ly t r ing to k e e p a pesky c r i t i c off his b a c k , or ( and this is at the low end of i n t e r p r e t i v e procedures) perhaps by the end of Hopper 's p a i n t i n g ca ree r he was b e g i n n i n g to paint more toward a p a r t i c u l a r s ty le and w i t h sub ject matter and a s p e c i f i c a u d i e n c e a l r e a d y i n m i n d . W e w i l l never know t h a t , of cou rse . That is outs ide our rea lm of e x p e r i e n c e . A further note on O ' D o h e r t y ' s statement that provides i n d i c a t i o n of a d e f i n i t e set or procedures i n operat ion is that the w a y his statement c h a r a c t e r i z e d Hopper 's work is a g a i n in the nar ra t i ve mode . It evokes a r e p l y from the art ist that is w i t h i n the same t r a d i -t i o n . "Perhaps t h e y ' r e r i g h t " , is not much of a m o t i v a t i o n a l i n ten t i on and great volumes of c r i t i c i sms cannot be b u i l t on that statement a l o n e . It i s , h o w e v e r , a r e p l y to a quest ion that was w e l l w i t h i n the boundar ies of the nar ra t i ve pa in t i ng t rad i t i on and O ' D o h e r t y gets as much d i s tance out of i t as he c a n . W h e n James R. M e l l o w wrote his r e v i e w on Hopper for the N e w Y o r k Times M a g a z i n e , Hopper 's b a s i c d isagreement on how the c r i t i c s v i e w e d his work has been subt ly changed in such a w a y that i t begins to promise his own a c q u i e s c e n c e : 95 "Hopper d i sag reed , t o o , w i t h those c r i t i c s - the vast ma jor i ty - who saw his work as a commentary on the a l i e n a t i o n of A m e r i c a n l i f e . "The lone l iness th ing is o v e r d o n e 1 , he s a i d , " i t formulates something you don ' t want f o r m u l a t e d 1 . But severa l months l a t e r , back to the same quest ion because of O ' D o h e r t y ' s i n s i s t e n c e , he was w i l l i n g to c o n c e d e , ' M a y b e they ' re r i g h t 1 , then c lammed up t ight on the s u b j e c t . "85 This quote has severa l dimensions worth not ing in d e p t h . A n d here 1 must point out that I do not th ink this is a dead issue . If the reader th inks I am mak ing too much of i t , then I ask him to cons ider how of ten these casual bits of in fo rmat ion subt ly s ink in to the m i n d . . . T h a t Hopper d isagreed w i t h a vast major i ty of c r i t i c s and then f i n a l l y concedes that maybe they ' re r ight was wr i t ten for the purpose of substant iat ing an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . A n d not that Hopper had won a l i f e l o n g b a t t l e over the i n c o r r e c t notions of c r i t i c s . Used the w a y M e l l o w constructs i t , 'a vast ma jo r i t y ' and ' M a y b e they ' re r ight ' looks as though Hopper has f i n a l l y g i v e n w a y under d e m o c r a t i c pressure. A vast number of c r i t i c s have assoc ia ted a l i e n a t i o n w i t h Hopper 's pa in t ings , and i t ' s t ime he got w i t h the program. M e l l o w reports Hopper 's statement c o r r e c t l y , and at f i rst g l a n c e there appears to be no d is to r t ion i n the w a y i t is u t i l i z e d . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the w a y M e l l o w fastened the statement at the end -whether i n t e n t i o n a l or not - reduces Hopper 's own in te rp re ta t ion to secondary impor tance v i s - a - v i s : . what the c r i t i c th inks is the important issue. S e c o n d l y , by a t t a c h i n g the statement at the end of the paragraph adds a c e r t a i n we igh t to the statement a n d , h e n c e , corroborates what the c r i t i c was>or ig inal ly suggest ing . It is a l r i g h t for Hopper to have an o p i n i o n , and i t w i l l be d u l y r e c o g n i z e d and repo r ted , but in such a w a y so as to f i t i t w i t h i n the m a r k e d - o f f boundar ies of the i n t e r p r e t i v e t r a d i t i o n . From this we c a n see that the c r i t i c is in the business of p roduc ing and l e g i t i m -i z i n g the " c o r r e c t " instruct ions for how to v i e w Edward Hopper 's p a i n t i n g s . W i t h the use of a u t h o r i z a t i o n procedures that g i v e the c r i t i c a p r i v i l e g e d status, he begins to show peopl how to look at what Hopper has d o n e , he shows the v i e w e r how to r e c o g n i z e and assign va lues to the pa in t ings , g ives him procedures so he w i l l know what to a t tend t o . VI L o c a t i n g The Assembly Instructions O n c e a gradual establ ishment of the in te rp re ta t ion becomes r e c o g n i z e d as the l e g i t i m a t e in te rp re ta t ion of his work , i t results i n severa l s i g n i f i c a n t consequences . F i rs t , there is the eventua l b u i l d - u p of a number of works that come to compr ise a corpus of the essent ia l Edward Hopper . These pa int ings are cons idered to embody the features that Hopper was t ry ing to paint to the greatest d e g r e e . A s a resu l t , they are the ones c o n t i n u -a l l y be ing ment ioned and a l l u d e d to i n the r e v i e w s . W h i l e this essent ia l corpus is b e i n g es tab l i shed , another phenomenon is t a k i n g p l a c e as w e l l . A s the f ramework for the essent ia l corpus is be ing d e v e l o p e d , another method is b e i n g b u i l t for r e l e g a t i n g to the s ide l ines pa int ings that do not f a l l w i t h i n the essent ia l c o r p u s . A c c o r d i n g l y , the pa int ings that do not f a l l w i t h i n the in te rp re t i ve boundar ies produced by the o r i g i n a l corpus , come to be cons idered as his minor w o r k s . In e f f e c t , the c r i t i c s have dev ised a tandem arrangement for appra is ing Hopper 's w o r k . The procedures that are d e v e l o p e d for r e c o g n i z i n g what the important corpus is a lso produces a procedure for k n o w i n g what the corpus is no t . The c r i t i c c a n both r e c o g n i z e w h i c h pa int ings come to compr ise the 'essent ia l Hopper ' and w h i c h p a i n t -ings do not f i t the corpus and should be d i s c a r d e d . These procedures are then passed on by the c r i t i c s so that the reader too c a n l ea rn to r e c o g n i z e what pa int ings are important w o r k s . By l e g i t i m i z i n g a s p e c i f i c set of i n te rp re t i ve instruct ions for how to v i e w Hopper 's w o r k , the c r i t i c s generate a corpus of "essent ia l Edward Hopper " p a i n t i n g s . C e r t a i n pa int ings come to be r e c o g n i z e d as embody ing the features of l o n e l i n e s s , t imelessness, and a l i e n a t i o n to the greatest d e g r e e . The c r i t i c s ' in terpretat ions generate a corpus of pa int ings that are 9a seen as those pa int ings where the i r i n te rp re t i ve procedures work e f f e c t i v e l y . Assembl ing this essent ia l corpus i n v o l v e s s e l e c t i n g out and emp loy ing those Hopper works w h i c h best lend themselves to the in te rp re t i ve procedures that the c r i t i c s have estab l ished as l e g i t i m -a t e . In so do ing they c a n make a p r e c o n c e i v e d p lan appear p l a u s i b l e . Then this essent ia l corpus c a n be seen by the v i e w e r as the group of paint ings where the i n te rp re t i ve p r o c e d -ures of the c r i t i c s - i f a n a l y z e d - w o u l d work e f f e c t i v e l y . What are the ent rance requirements for ge t t i ng in to this essent ia l group of p a i n t i n g s ? O n e w a y to f i n d out w o u l d be to d i scover w h i c h pa int ings have been m e n t -ioned w i t h marked r e p e t i t i o n and then learn what has been a t t r ibu ted to them. There are a number of paint ings that one f inds constant re fe rence to in the c r i t i c a l r e v i e w s . Some of the most commonly ment ioned ones i n c l u d e : House by the R a i l - road (1925) , Room in N e w Y o r k (1932) , O f f i c e at N i g h t (1940) , N e w Y o r k M o v i e (1939) , G a s (1940) , Ear ly Sunday M o r n i n g (1930) , A p p r o a c h i n g a C i t y (1946) , Two on the A i s l e (1927) , E leven A . M . ( 1 9 2 6 ) , Hote l Room (1931) , C h o p Suey (1929) , Au tomat (1927) , Ho te l Lobby (1943) , East W i n d O v e r W e e h a w k e n (1934) , Drug Store (1927) , C a p e C o d Even ing (1939) , C a p e C o d M o r n i n g (1950) , Sun in an Empty Room ( 1 9 6 3 ) , L ight at Two  Lights (1927) , and Lighthouse at Two Lights (1929) . N o t o n l y are these pa int ings m e n t -i oned in the r e v i e w s , but when some of Hopper 's work accompan ies a r e v i e w , in the form of a r e p r o d u c t i o n , i t is usua l l y one taken from this set of p a i n t i n g s . This set of pa int ings is part of the essent ia l corpus of Hopper 's w o r k . Us ing a mode of ana lys is that the c r i t i c s have o u t l i n e d , the v i e w e r c a n compare these paint ings w i t h what the c r i t i c s have sa id and come up w i t h a s im i l a r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . This corpus is seen to have a u n i f y i n g strand runn ing through i t . If the r e a d e r / v i e w e r has seen p a i n t -ings w i t h i n the essent ia l corpus he becomes aware of the genera l pat te rn . We f i n d that o n c e the t rad i t i on begins to establ ish i t s e l f , i t is this set of pa int ings w h i c h gets repeated m e n t i o n . They are ment ioned because this set of paint ings embodies the features that c r i t i c s have been t a l k i n g about to the greatest d e g r e e . Frank G e t l e i n o n c e sa id that "anyone who has thought of Hopper 's work w o u l d d i v i d e i t into two broad categor ies by 86 l o c a l e ; the c i t y and the b e a c h " . In a sense this is t rue , but these categor ies are s i n g u -l a r l y narrow and many of Hopper 's paint ings w o u l d f a l l outs ide the boundar ies G e t l e i n has set u p . In the paint ings ment ioned above there is a w i d e range of subjects and themes mak ing i t d i f f i c u l t to learn w h y they are i n c l u d e d i n the essent ia l corpus mere l y by a s s i g n -ing them to the c i t y or the b e a c h . Please get me stra ight on this: I am say ing that it is the treatment of these subjects w h i c h determines whether they w i l l f i t the essent ia l corpus or not . In order for a Hopper p a i n t i n g to be i n c l u d e d in the essent ia l corpus i t has to meet c e r t a i n ent rance requi rements . A n d to f i n d out what these ent rance requirements are i t w i l l be useful to break the above l is t of pa int ings down into a number of s u b - c a t e g o r i e s in order to d i s c o v e r why they lend themselves to the in terpretat ions the c r i t i c s have g i v e n them. The paint ings w h i c h have been assigned the features of amb igu i t y must have some p re -es tab l i shed set of meanings w h i c h make them so . Some of the var ious features that we might look for i n the ana lys is of his paint ings c a n be c a t e g o r i z e d as f o l l o w s : (1) Paint ings or e tch ings w i t h o n l y a s ing le person i n the p i c t u r e . A pa r t i a l l ist of this type of p ic tu re w o u l d i n c l u d e , G a s , E leven A . M . , 'Ho te l 'Room, A u t o m a t , M o r n i n g i n a C i t y , C a p e C o d M o r n i n g , and such etch ings as East S i d e Inter ior (1921) , Even ing W i n d (1921) , N i g h t in the Park (1921) , or N i g h t Shadows (1921) . A l l of these paint ings c a n be seen to lend themselves to the lonel iness i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n . In E leven A . M . , for i n s t a n c e , a woman sits in a c h a i r , n a k e d , l o o k i n g out a w i n d o w . It f i l l s the requirement of lonel iness n i c e l y a n d , in a d d i t i o n - as w i t h Hemingway 's Leopard on K i l i m a n j a r o - no one has e x p l a i n e d what a woman is d o i n g naked i n a c h a i r l o o k i n g out a w indow at E leven A . M . Paint ings w i t h o n l y a few peop le i n the p i c t u r e , none of them seen h a v i n g i n t e r - a c t i o n . In paint ings l i k e C h o p S u e y , H o t e l L o b b y , Room i n N e w Y o r k , Two on an A i s l e , and O f f i c e at N i g h t , there is an a m b i g u i t y due to the c o n c e r n w i t h the d e s c r i p t i v e e p i s o d e . Two on an A i s l e , for e x a m p l e , is set ins ide a t h e a t r e . It is d i f f i c u l t to t e l l from the instruct ions g i v e n by a nar ra t i ve t r a d i t i o n what is go ing to happen n e x t . It is hard to determine whether the p lay or mot ion p ic tu re is go ing to beg in in a short w h i l e , and these peop le have come to the theatre e a r l y , or whether the p lay or mot ion p ic tu re is a l r e a d y over and these peop le are the last to l e a v e the t h e a t r e . Paint ings or etch ings d e p i c t i n g a t ime of day when nobody is about , or s imp ly p a i n t - ings that do not i n c l u d e peop le in the p ic tu re at a l l . This group breaks down in to two groups. Paint ings that d e p i c t times of day when nobody is about i n c l u d e Rooms for Tourists (1945) , Dawn in Pennsy lvan ia (1942) , Drug Store (1927) , and S o l i t u d e (1944) . I cons ider them d i f f e r e n t l y than this next group w h i c h s imply does not i n c l u d e any peop le in the p a i n t i n g . In this group the t ime of day does not necessar i l y e x p l a i n why there are not any p e o p l e . Hopper s imp ly d i d not i n c l u d e any peop le i n the pa in t i ngs . Examples i n c l u d e House by the R a i l r o a d , Ear ly S u n -day M o r n i n g , A p p r o a c h i n g a C i t y , East W i n d over W e e h a w k e n , L ight at Two L ights , and L ighthouse at Two L igh ts . ; Imdemonstrat ing to the i r a u d i e n c e the q u a l i t i e s that have been e x t r a c t e d from Hopper 's w o r k , e x c l u s i v e a t ten t ion is g i v e n to some paint ings w h i l e other works are not ment ioned at a l l . C r i t i c s ment ion c e r t a i n paint ings and then o n l y a s e l e c t f e w of these are used to i l l u s t r a t e the c r i t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s they refer t o . In the rev iews t h e m -selves the corpus is brought together i n two w a y s . The f i rst of these is ve ry g e n e r a l , the second q u i t e s p e c i f i c . When the corpus is a l l u d e d to g e n e r a l l y , s p e c i f i c pa int ings are not c i t e d but , i n s t e a d , a genera l statement is made a c k n o w l e d g i n g the f a c t that there is a r e c o g n i z a b l e group of paint ings in e x i s t e n c e . For e x a m p l e , when Bryan Robertson r e -v i e w e d G o o d r i c h ' s book in 1972, he i n c l u d e d this statement c o n c e r n i n g the corpus: " A f i n a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n , but an important o n e . Hopper pa in ted a p p r o x i m a t e l y t w e n t y - f i v e to th i r ty haunt ing p ictures w h i c h w i l l take the i r sure p l a c e in A m e r i c a n a r t . These pa int ings c o u l d be shown in any other c o u n t r y , for that matter , w i t h j u s t i f i a b l e p r i d e . The v a l u e of this book is in assembl ing a large number of pa int ings and drawings for re fe rence through r e p r o d u c t i o n . " So we learn from Robertson's a c c o u n t that there are t w e n t y - f i v e , maybe even as many as th i r t y paint ings that c a n be shown anywhere in the w o r l d w i t h j u s t i -f i a b l e p r i d e . 102 He does nor go so far as to fasten down what s p e c i f i c paint ings he is t a l k i n g about , o n l y says that they do ex ist and that there may be as many as th i r ty of them. By not naming the pa int ings s p e c i f i c a l l y , he c a n l e a v e the boundar ies of the ca tegory o p e n , m a k i n g i t possible to negot ia te pa int ings w h i c h come c lose to app rox imat ing the features of the essent ia l co rpus . O n the other hand , when s p e c i f i c pa int ings from the corpus are used to d e m o n -strate or i l l u s t r a t e what the c r i t i c is t a l k i n g about , they are named and s p e l l e d out in d e -t a i l . These are the pa int ings w h i c h have a set of instruct ions to a c c o m p a n y t h e m . When the r e a d e r / v i e w e r sees these pa int ings he a lso has access to a wr i t ten r e v i e w that g i ves him a set of assembly instruct ions for see ing the paint ings i n the same w a y that the c r i t i c does . N o w that we have some i d e a of what the essent ia l corpus i s , let us take a look at the k inds of pa int ings that have been lef t out of the corpus for one reason or a n o t h e r . For o c c u r r i n g s imu l taneous ly w i t h the deve lopment of the essent ia l corpus is a method for r e l e g a t i n g to the s i d e l i n e s any of Hopper 's paint ings that do not f a l l w i t h i n the i n t e r p r e t i v e boundar ies that went to produce the o r i g i n a l corpus . Put another w a y , an e x c l u s i o n p o l i c y . O n e should remember in l o o k i n g at this group of pa int ings that i t is a res idual ca tego ry hav ing no d i s t i n c t i v e or coherent set of fea tu res . Furthermore, the status of this ca tegory may be sub ject to change at any t i m e . Robertson, for i n s t a n c e , te l l s us that: "It is in terest ing to know that Hopper made th i r ty or fo r ty drawn studies for a p a r t i c u l a r in te r io r w i t h f i gu res , and to see one or two of them as p l a t e s . But Hopper a lso made a large number of u n e x c e p t i o n a l pa int ings and many r e p e t i t i v e po tbo i le rs , e s p e c i a l l y in w a t e r c o l o r . " 8 8 103 So Robertson g ives the instruct ions for how to see Hopper 's waterco lo rs as b e i n g r e p e t i t i v e po tbo i le rs . It is a procedura l t e c h n i q u e for s i d e l i n i n g a number of Hopper works that do not i ncorpora te the q u a l i t i e s that the c r i t i c s regard as d i s t i n c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . He te l l s us that they are u n e x c e p t i o n a l and r e p e t i t i v e . This i n te rp re ta t ion is p a c k a g e d n e a t l y , l e a v i n g the impression that Robertson wanted to c o n v e y to his a u d i e n c e . Th rough -out the r e v i e w , Hopper is a g a i n const i tu ted so as to h i g h l i g h t the features that have a l r e a d y been es tab l i shed , as w e l l as d i scount ing pa int ings that are not w i t h i n t h a t . s p e c i f i c i n t e r p r e -t i v e t r a d i t i o n . N o n e of these r e p e t i t i v e potbo i lers lend themselves to the l o n e l y , t ime less , a l i e n a t e d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . E a r l i e r , Robertson ment ioned that there were perhaps as many as th i r ty haunt ing p ictures w h i c h w i l l take the i r p l a c e in A m e r i c a n A r t . If, h o w e v e r , Hopper had been c h a r a c t e r i z e d as one of the greatest w a t e r c o l o r painters in A m e r i c a n A r t , these th i r ty haunt ing p ictures w o u l d not f i t that corpus . It w o u l d then be as easy to say that H o p -per pa in ted th i r ty haunt ing r e p e t i t i v e potbo i lers that c o n c e r n e d themselves w i t h themes of l one l i ness , a l i e n a t i o n , and t imelessness. I ment ion this for the f o l l o w i n g reason . In the m i d -sevent ies A m e r i c a n A r t is e x p e r i e n c i n g a rena issance . There is eve ry l i k e l i h o o d that Hopper 's waterco lo rs w i l l a l l of a sudden be seen as a ca tegory unto themselves . In the l ight of his current f ame , these waterco lo rs c o u l d be r e - e v a l u a t e d . In order for that to h a p p e n , they w i l l have to be e v a l u a t e d using another set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures besides the ones that made his o i l pa int ings famous. The i n t e r p r e t i v e procedures .' that work e f f e c t i v e l y for the o i l pa int ings do not work for the w a t e r c o l o r s . C r i t i c s w o u l d have to s t r ike a new c a t e g o r y , something l i k e "Edward Hopper 's essent ia l w a t e r c o l o r s " . The A m e r i c a n a r t i s t , C h a r l e s B u r c h f i e l d a lso had a hand in r e l e g a t i n g c e r t a i n Hopper pa int ings to the s i d e l i n e s . Here in the f o l l o w i n g excerp t we see how he drew his 104 boundary l ines : " O f the ve ry e a r l y work I know o n l y through hearsay; there seems to have been some i n f l u e n c e from the Im-pressionists in the p ictures done i n Paris before 1910 . But as he shrugged off this spurious i n f l u e n c e very soon , I do not f e e l the need of c o n c e r n i n g myself too much w i t h i t . L i k e w i s e the story of his e a r l y ca reer - his struggles and f rustrat ions , his constant r e j e c t i o n by the A c a d e m y , his p o t - b o i l i n g i l l u s t r a t i o n s , e t c . - has been so a b l y desc r ibed a l r e a d y (see e s p e c i a l l y Edward Hopper by A l f r e d H . Barr , J r . , Museum of M o d e r n A r t , 1933) that I w i l l pass this b y , t o o , and go on to the year 1913, the ear l ies t date on any p ic tu re of Hopper 's w h i c h I have s e e n . " 89 A s w i t h Robertson, B u r c h f i e l d too te l l s us w h i c h works were his p o t - b o i l e r s . M o r e o v e r , the i n f l u e n c e of Impressionism is seen to be spur ious, so any th ing pa in ted before 1910, dur ing his Paris p e r i o d , c a n be e x c l u d e d from the important works . There is a lso another feature to be taken into a c c o u n t . B u r c h f i e l d mentions A l f r e d Barr's a c c o u n t as a n -other p l a c e a reader c a n go to f i n d out w h i c h work is not to be seen as e s s e n t i a l . That i s , i n f a c t , a c c o r d i n g to B u r c h f i e l d , where one c a n f i n d out that Hopper 's i l l us t ra t ions are p o t -b o i l e r s . This method of i n c l u s i o n and e x c l u s i o n has w i t h i n i t the kerne l of a s e l f - f u l f i l l i n g prophesy - not just for Edward Hopper - but for the w h o l e of art h is to ry . For one of the things that art g a l l e r i e s and museums have a v a i l a b l e for use is the t e c h n i c a l s k i l l necessary for t o u c h -up work and res to ra t ion . Instead of the P ieta be ing scrapped as junk marb le a f ter i t was w o r k e d over w i t h a s ledge hammer, the t e c h n i c i a n s went to work on i t and restored i t to i t ' s ' o r i g i n a l ' s ta te . The same was true for P icasso's G u e r n i c a : A t h i c k c o a t of varn ish on Pab lo Picasso's monumental " G u e r n i c a " saved i t from permanent damage when a man sprayed f o o t - h i g h letters in N e w Y o r k ' s museum of M o d e r n A r t o f f i c i a l s say . 105 The 2 5 - b y - l 1 - foot p a i n t i n g was q u i c k l y restored Thursday by museum conservators using a s o l v e n t . The same holds true for Hopper 's w o r k . A l t h o u g h as yet no one has d e f a c e d a Hopper p a i n t i n g , those same conservator methods w o u l d be a v a i l a b l e i f they d i d . The ones w i t h i n the essent ia l corpus are the ones g i v e n the most pamper ing and a t t e n t i o n . They are the ones that command the highest p r ice at a g a l l e r y a u c t i o n and enhance a g a l l e r y ' s r e p u -ta t i on for h a v i n g such a work w i t h i n the i r c o l l e c t i o n . If these pa int ings beg in to s o i l , lose the i r lust re , or g e n e r a l l y d e t e r i o r a t e , i t is this group of paint ings that are l i k e l y to be g i v e n f i rst a t t e n t i o n . O v e r the years , other paint ings that do not embody the features that the c r i t i c s have based the i r rev iews on are c o n v e n i e n t l y forgotten or c h a r a c t e r i z e d as minor pa int ings and are so ld to g a l l e r i e s that are off the ma in road of the g a l l e r y s c e n e . A s in baseba l l or h o c k e y , art too has its major and minor leagues that are w e l l known to the players and fans . That is another issue, h o w e v e r , and one that does not d i r e c t l y c o n c e r n us h e r e . For the purpose of this d iscussion let us see what k inds of pa int ings have been le f t out of the essent ia l corpus and try to put our f inger on why they have been lef t ou t . I have s e l e c t e d the f o l l o w i n g pa int ings as b e i n g part of a "shadow c o r p u s " , p a i n t -ings that on the one hand do not have the content necessary to lend themselves to the current i n te rp re ta t ion of Hopper 's w o r k , o r , on the other h a n d , are a group of pa int ings where the in terpretat ions of the c r i t i c s , i f a n a l y z e d , do not work e f f e c t i v e l y : (1) J o in W y o m i n g (1946) . This p a r t i c u l a r w a t e r c o l o r does not f i t the corpus because there is a b s o l u t e l y no amb igu i t y in i t . It is a p a i n t i n g of his w i f e J o . She is s i t t ing i n a ca r w i t h the door o p e n , and she is l o o k i n g out the door and s k e t c h i n g some mounta in scenery w h i c h c a n a lso be s e e n . Corner S a l o o n (1913) . This pa in t i ng does not f i t because there are too many peop le i n the p a i n t i n g . It is an a c t i v e street s c e n e . The c losest i t c a n be seen to f i t t i n g the corpus is by say ing that here Hopper was b e g i n n i n g to d e v e l o p his pa in t i ng t e c h n i q u e as i n the f o l l o w i n g . W e p i c k up Bu rch f i e ld ' s a c c o u n t where we le f t off above : "This is his Corner S a l o o n ( p . 16) . A l r e a d y i n i t are e v i -den t , however h a l t i n g l y s ta ted , the q u a l i t i e s w h i c h , w h i l e they have d e v e l o p e d and grown r i che r through the years , are the main c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of his work t o d a y . From that t ime on there have been no detours or d igress ions, the march toward his goa l has been uncompromis ing ly sure and s t r a i g h t . " ^1 Le Q u a i des G r a n d a A u g u s t i n a (1909) . This pa in t i ng shows too much of a French Im -pressionist i n f l u e n c e . ( N o , I'm not t a k i n g my ins t ruct ion from B u r c h f i e l d . That was my o p i n i o n before I saw what he had w r i t t e n ) . The S t y l i s t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are not ones that lend themselves to the current in te rp re ta t ion of his w o r k . There is a n i c e use of c o l o r i n this pa in t i ng and I regard i t as c h e e r f u l . I happen to be q u i t e fond of this p a r t i c u l a r w o r k , i n c i d e n t a l l y . Les Deux Pigeons ( e t c h i n g , 1920) . This e t c h i n g shows a woman s i t t i ng on a man's l a p and the two of them are k i s s i n g . In the background a F rench w a i t e r is l o o k i n g on and s m i l i n g . L l o y d G o o d r i c h desc r ibed this e t c h i n g as one showing " a surpr is ing tender ... M 92 sensua l i ty . The pa int ings G i r l i e Show (1941) and Br id le Path (1939) c a n o n l y be a c c o r d e d a s e c o n d -ary c l a s s i f i c a t i o n as far as the essent ia l corpus goes . W i t h i n a nar ra t i ve f rame , both 107 the i r messages are too c l e a r c u t . In e a c h case there is a c l e a r nar ra t ive statement and one c a n beg in to t e l l a story about what is go ing on in both pa int ings w i thout the least h e s i t a t i o n . In G i r l i e S h o w , for e x a m p l e , a str ipper has just come on to the stage to beg in her a c t . The a u d i e n c e is w a t c h i n g her per form. In B r i d le Path three equestr ians are r i d i n g the i r horses a l o n g a b r i d l e path and are about to enter a t u n n e l . 1 say these two paint ings c a n o n l y be a c c o r d e d a secondary status because some of the features of amb igu i t y do e x i s t . In G i r l i e Show there is one male f igure who is not l o o k i n g at the s tage . It is not t o t a l l y c l e a r whether he is a m u s i c i a n of some sort p l a y i n g the str ipper 's theme song , or i f he is a member of the a u d i e n c e who is g e t t i n g up to l e a v e . The same is true for B r id le P a t h . O n e of the horses is b e g i n n i n g to rear its head as i f i t d i d not want to go in to the t u n n e l . In this case there is some p rob lem ' in d e c i d i n g just w h a t , e x a c t l y , w i l l happen n e x t . 108 C o n c l u s i o n Ir should be c l e a r by now that Edward Hopper was assigned a c e r t a i n status by the c r i t i c s and r e v i e w e r s . O n c e the const ruct ion of the in te rp re ta t ion of his work was c o m p -le ted and the c r i t i c s had b u i l t up the t rad i t ion surrounding his pa in t ings , Hopper 's p r i va te usage of common scenes became r e c o g n i z e d as the desc r ip t i on of a l i e n a t i o n , t imelessness and l one l i ness . By pa in t i ng a t ra in s ta t ion at dawn instead of dur ing commuter rush hour, or by p a i n t i n g a street scene e a r l y in the morning before normal business hours, Hopper is sa id to have captu red the sp i r i t of lonel iness and i s o l a t i o n that is part of the A m e r i c a n e x -p e r i e n c e . Hopper 's s p e c i f i c ideas and fee l i ngs are made p u b l i c and understandable under th is i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . H e is then lauded for his a b i l i t y to do s o c i o l o g i c a l e x t r a p o l a t i o n ; t o descr ibe the s o c i e t y ' s i l l s , or for his a b i l i t y to put his f i nger on one of the current p r o b -lems in A m e r i c a n l i f e . It is a lso worth remember ing that i n the process of c u l t u r a l m e d i a t i o n , the i n t e r -pretat ion of v i sua l v o c a b u l a r i e s is an o n - g o i n g process. In Hopper 's c a s e , the c r i t i c s have spent the last forty years w o r k i n g on and d e v e l o p i n g the i r i n te rp re t i ve descr ip t ions of his w o r k . O u r d e f i n i t i o n of Hopper is based on consequences of a process that has been in the works for fo r ty yea rs . In w o r k i n g on and d e v e l o p i n g this i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , the c r i t i c s have produced another r e c o g n i z a b l e genre fo rm, one that c a n now be used to f i t other artists i n t o , as indeed they have in the case of comparisons between Hopper and W y e t h . What is more , c r i t i c s of Hopper have been s low and even shy in abandon ing present nar ra t i ve forms and p lots , or na r ra t i ve sty les in the i r c r i t i c i s m of his w o r k . The genre c o n c e p t is too important to the ma in tenance of art h istory to be abandoned out r igh t . 109 A l t h o u g h there are assurances on the part of c r i t i c s that c o n s i d e r i n g an art ist 's work in r e l a t i o n to arb i t rary categor ies is now an outmoded and dogmat ic theory of a r t , I do not have to b e l i e v e i t s imp ly because someone says i t is s o . Hopper 's themes,, p r i va te symbols and p r i va te v i sua l v o c a b u l a r i e s were f i rst f i t t e d in to an a l r e a d y ex i s t i ng ca tegory rather than examined and understood as an i n d i v i d u a l e n t i t y . A n entry point in art history was found for Hoppe r , a t r a d i t i o n a l w a y of comprehend ing e x -p e r i e n c e was f i rst s e l e c t e d for use in i n te rp re t ing his work , and the i n t e r p r e t i v e procedures f i rst a p p l i e d to his work f i t h im in to this p rev ious ly des igned m o l d . In the e a r l y th i r t ies a l l this began to c h a n g e . The c r i t i c s started using another set of i n te rp re t i ve procedures to understand what was go ing on in Hopper 's pa in t i ngs . The paint ings were present ing themselves as they a lways had but the v i e w e r ' s judgment c o n c e r n i n g them was d i f f e r e n t . The c r i t i c s began to d e v e l o p and d isseminate a new and v a r i e n t i n t e r p r e -t i v e p rocedure . They began to persuade the senses of r e a d e r / v i e w e r s . They began to show peop le how to look at his paint ings in a new w a y , they taught peop le how to r e c o g n i z e them, they assigned new va lues to them so that c e r t a i n elements in his pa int ings were sustained over t i m e , thus m a i n t a i n i n g the impression of c o n s e c u t i v e a r t i c u l a t i o n . It has been shown i n Hopper 's case that a l t e r n a t i v e in terpretat ions were a v a i l a b l e i f one bothered to look for t hem. If art c r i t i c i s m was c o n c e r n e d p r i m a r i l y w i t h p rov id ing the v i e w e r w i t h ways of a c q u i r i n g an a p p r e c i a t i o n of a work of a r t , then i t is c o n c e i v a b l e to imag ine one or more c r i t i c s using a t e c h n i q u e whereby a series of i n te rp re t i ve instruct ions w o u l d be made a v a i l a b l e for v i e w i n g . D a l i ' s " A p p a r i t i o n of F a c e and Fru i t D ish on a B e a c h " comes to m i n d . The f a c e and f ru i t d ish are q u i c k l y d i s c e r n i b l e but there is a dog in the p i c -ture as w e l l . The dog is h idden w i t h i n the structure of the pa in t i ng i tse l f and it takes some 110 t ime before one c a n f i n d i t . H o w e v e r , o n c e you are made aware of i t i t is easy to see the f a c e , the d i s h , and the dog as w e l l . By s imp ly be ing p rov ided w i t h another set of v i e w i n g i n s t r u c -t ions , a r e a d e r / v i e w e r c a n ob ta in a t o t a l l y d i f fe rent i n te rp re ta t ion of a p a i n t i n g that c a n a c t as a means of further e x t e n d i n g his v i e w i n g a p p r e c i a t i o n of a work o f a r t . A l t h o u g h this is possible to d o , i t was not done i n Hopper 's c a s e . The i n te rp re t i ve t rad i t i on that .surrounds Hopper has b u i l t i n to its structure a t a c i t set of v i e w i n g procedures w h i c h the t r a d i t i o n is based o n . Consequent l y the in te rp re ta t ion is a lways presented as i f i t were a c o n c r e t e f a c t about the p a i n t i n g i t s e l f . The facts are there on the surface of the pa int ings and a l l the c r i t i c is d o i n g is g o i n g about and ga the r ing them up for us . By ass ign ing va lues to the paint ings and o r g a n i z i n g them for d e s c r i p t i o n the c r i t i c is do ing more than s imp ly e v a l u a t i n g . He is i ns t ruct ing and t e a c h i n g peop le how to look at a r t i s t i c w o r k . He is s h o w -i n g them how to look at the paint ings so that they too w i l l see what he says is t he re . The c r i t i c s r e v i e w g ives the proper c o n t e x t ; the c o r r e c t fo rmula for i n te rp re ta t ion that fastens and secures s p e c i f i c sets of meaning to the elements in the p a i n t i n g . Rev iews d i r e c t our a t tent ion to c e r t a i n aspects of a pa in t i ng a n d , as a resu l t , a w a y from others . It is the p r a c t i c e of s e l e c t i n g what seems best from var ious sets of mean ings . But the results of such a method of i n te rp re ta t ion go much further than t h i s . It is the beg inn ing of a process of m e d i a t i o n through w h i c h a t rad i t i on is d e l i n e a t e d . Whether we know i t or not , the c r i t i c ' s r e v i e w is a method we have learned for judg ing a pa in t ing 's meri t and cor rectness . C r i t i c s w o u l d a g r e e , I t h i n k , when I say that the i r in fe rences are c o n t r o l l e d by rules outs ide themselves . H o w e v e r , they w o u l d say that the i r in terpretat ions are governed w h o l l y by what the art ist has produced and by what l ies on the canvas w a i t i n g to be i n t e r p r e t e d . This is the point where the c r i t i c s and I w o u l d part c o m p a n y . Their d i a l e c t i c is governed by the inst i tut ions they work in and the market economy that g a v e them b i r t h . From the in standpoint of the c r i t i c , " f a c t s " are c o m m u n i c a t e d , but l i t t l e a t ten t ion is devo ted to the e x p l a -nat ion of the s o c i a l l y o r g a n i z e d h i s to r i ca l process that went into the p roduct ion of the i n t e r p r e -ta t ion in the f i rst p l a c e . S i n c e this process is not seen as be ing part of the i r en te rp r i se , i t is never discussed as an issue. In the course of this paper I have brought you a l o n g the path of my m a k i n g . W e have l ooked at c e r t a i n things together, ' but it was a lways me po in t ing out the ob jec ts of i n -terest . For the sake of mak ing an a i r - t i g h t c a s e , i t w o u l d have been better for me not to have shown you c e r t a i n th ings . I c o u l d have c r e a t e d d ivers ions at c r u c i a l po ints , and you w o u l d never have been the w i s e r . But in t ry ing to wr i te about Edward Hopper t r u l y , i t was impossib le to ignore the loose ends, or the p ieces that d i d not f i t . There are parts of this thesis that I f e e l more comfor tab le w i t h than others . I th ink I have a c c u r a t e l y descr ibed Hopper 's pa in t i ng t e c h n i q u e . If you have learned something about i t from read ing th is , then I w i l l know that part of the job I set out to do has been a c c o m p l i s h e d . O n the other hand , I am not sa t i s f ied w i t h what I t o ld you about a l i e n a t i o n . A c o m p l e t e d i s -cussion of that d imension of Hopper 's work must w a i t un t i l I have w o r k e d out some problems that I am s t i l l h a v i n g t rouble w i t h . To me the c o n c e p t of a l i e n a t i o n is s t i l l e l u s i v e . I wanted to w r i t e about the p rob -lem and then g i v e these wr i t ten ideas to y o u , but I know you have not had the same exper iences I have h a d . In b r ing ing my ideas to you something was lost a l o n g the w a y . I have a p ic tu re of a wr i te r scoop ing up a handful of ideas and then c a r r y i n g them to a reader who is far o f f . In the process of c a r r y i n g those ideas many of them drop out a l o n g the w a y o r , to use a l i q u i d a n a l o g y , leak through his f i nge rs . By the t ime the i d e a a r r i v e s , there is not much lef t to r e a l l y a p p r e c i a t e . Here I w i l l say one f i n a l th ing that seems to be true and then I w i l l have to s top . W e w i l l have come a l o n g my path as far as it now goes . When Edward Hopper p a i n t e d , he was p a i n t i n g some f e e l i n g that he had toward an e x i s t i n g s c e n e . He saw i t through his own eyes and then commun ica ted i t to us through the medium of p a i n t i n g . What he saw - the aspects of r e a l i t y he s e l e c t e d for us to v i e w -have been c a l l e d something else by other p e o p l e . What Hopper w o u l d say about a l l this I have no i d e a . He seemed to d e l i g h t in not say ing any th ing at a l l . He seemed to prefer to let others t e l l h im what they saw i n his w o r k . I w i l l never know i f he w o u l d have agreed w i t h what I have s a i d about his w o r k , but I w o u l d l i k e to th ink I have done him just ice and that he w o u l d have been interested in what I had to say about h i m . 113 Ep i logue: M r s . R. G . W i l l i a m s . D o c e n t . I had been w o r k i n g on this study for n e a r l y two years before I a c t u a l l y saw an o r i g i n a l Hopper pa in t i ng in a g a l l e r y s e t t i n g . I was f a m i l i a r w i t h his work and what had been wr i t ten about i t . I had seen most of the major paint ings that were regarded as part of the essent ia l corpus of Hopper 's w o r k . But my v i e w i n g of his work had a lways been somewhat d i s a p p o i n t i n g s i n c e it had been res t r ic ted to magaz ines and books where s o m e -times his paint ings were poor ly r e p r o d u c e d . These reproduct ions d i f f e red g r e a t l y in terms of c o l o r and brightness and I f e l t that I had no rea l sense of the co lo rs he had a c t u a l l y used or how he u t i l i z e d his s k i l l s w i t h the brush. It had not p a r t i c u l a r l y mattered for what I in tended to i n c l u d e in the thesis but , a f ter spending as much t ime as I had w o r k i n g on h i m , I thought i t w o u l d at least be n i c e to see some of the man's work c lose u p . Hopper was be ing red iscovered in the e a r l y 1970 's , at just about the same t ime I was start ing work on this thesis in earnest . When M r s . Hopper d i e d in 1968, she had b e -queathed a large number of unknown pa in t ings , sketches , and drawings to the W h i t n e y Museum i n N e w Y o r k . The Hopper bequest had made a noteworthy splash in art c i r c l e s and af ter showing i n N e w Y o r k , major portions of the e x h i b i t began c i r c u l a t i n g around the U n i t e d States as a k i n g of t r a v e l l i n g e x h i b i t . When I learned that there was to be a showing of the bequest i n S e a t t l e , I d e c i d e d that the opportun i ty was one that I c o u l d not pass up and that i t w o u l d be worth my w h i l e to go and see some of his pa in t ings . The g u i d e d tour c o n n e c t e d w i t h the pa in t i ng e x h i b i t proved to be the most in terest ing feature of the af ternoon spent in the g a l l e r y . I had been on g u i d e d tours b e -fore but never on one where I was so c o m p l e t e l y f a m i l i a r w i t h the ar t is t 's work be fo rehand . 114 I was interested to see how the tour was go ing to be hand led and just e x a c t l y what was go ing to be sa id about Hopper . The t ime for the tour to beg in was 2:00 o ' c l o c k and as the t ime neared a w e l l -dressed woman came into the g a l l e r y , spoke a f e w words to the woman s e l l i n g t i c k e t s , and then took up her p l a c e near the l o c a t i o n where we had a l l been t o l d to w a i t for the tour to b e g i n . This w o m a n , who I w i l l c a l l M r s . R. G . W i l l i a m s , had a name p laque p inned on her suit that sa id in p l a i n g o l d l e t t e r i n g , "Mrs . . R. G . W i l l i a m s , D o c e n t " . This was my f i rst encounter w i t h a d o c e n t , and as the a f ternoon u n f o l d e d , i t proved to be a most i ns t ruc t i ve o n e . K e e p i n mind thot most of the p re l im ina ry work had a l r e a d y been done on this thesis by the t ime I f i rst saw this e x h i b i t . For the most part i t had been done a w a y from human c o n t a c t . Except for the one or two letters I had w r i t t e n , most of the research had been done on something that had a l r e a d y been c o l l e c t e d for me by the l i b r a r i e s . A l l I had been do ing was reshuf f l ing and rear rang ing mater ia l in another sequence i n order to g i v e i t i n t e n t i o n a l un i t y for a s o c i o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . L o o k i n g back on i t now I cannot remember e x a c t l y what i t was that I was e x p e c t -i ng to see or hear that d a y , but I c e r t a i n l y was not prepared for what I g o t . H a v i n g done cons ide rab le research on Hopper a l r e a d y , I f e l t f a i r l y u p - t o - d a t e on him i n terms of b a c k -ground i n f o r m a t i o n . A s M r s . W i l l i a m s began the tour , I was surprised at how f a m i l i a r her in fo rmat ion sounded to me . I had a l r e a d y read the mate r i a l she was d rawing on for her p r e -pared t a l k . A t f i rst I f e l t c h e a t e d . S i n c e I a l r e a d y k n e w a l l t h i s , I f e l t that i t was the museum's respons ib i l i t y to p rov ide me w i t h more than this mere s k e t c h . M r s . W i l l i a m s 115 w o u l d l ead us to a p a r t i c u l a r pa in t ing and then beg in speak ing about Hopper 's use of t i m e , the w a y the lonel iness stood out i n his work and how the theme of a l i e n a t i o n ran through a l l the works d i s p l a y e d there in the g a l l e r y . To me i t was l i k e hear ing someone ta lk about a book or f i l m that you have read or seen yourse l f , and are q u i t e f a m i l i a r w i t h . It was c l e a r to me that both M r s . W i l l i a m s and I had read the same m a t e r i a l . O u r k n o w -ledge of Hopper was based on the same d o c u m e n t a t i o n ; d e r i v e d from i d e n t i c a l sources -n a m e l y , rev iews that had been wr i t ten about him e a r l i e r on i n his c a r e e r . I began to see that M r s . W i l l i a m s ' i n te rp re ta t ion of Hopper and mine had a l r e a d y been p rov ided fo r us by the c r i t i c s ' p r e - s e l e c t e d themes and c a t e g o r i e s . By l i s ten ing to her ta lk about the p a i n t -ings , I c o u l d p l a i n l y see that she was report ing what, was c u r r e n t l y b e i n g sa id about him by the art w o r l d in g e n e r a l . There was noth ing new i n what she s a i d ; I l i s tened for i t . I l i s tened c a r e f u l l y for i t . I wanted i t . I wanted the p u z z l e not to f i t for a c h a n g e . A f t e r the tour was over I f o l l o w e d up my hunches by ask ing M r s . W i l l i a m s where she had c o l l e c t e d the mater ia l for her t a l k . She t o l d me that when the bequest c a m e to S e a t t l e she had been asked i f she w o u l d l i k e to a c t as tour g u i d e for the e x h i b i t . A f t e r she had a c c e p t e d , she began read ing up on Hopper in the l i b r a r y , and t a l k i n g w i t h severa l peop le at the museum about h i m . From what she to ld me I gathered that the d i rec to r of the S e a t t l e A r t Museum had been qu i te he lp fu l in assist ing her to run down sources and f i n d i n g b a c k -ground m a t e r i a l . What I th ink is important to remember is that th is ep isode e x e m p l i f i e d the process that anyone interested in learn ing about Hopper is requ i red to go through i n order to f a m i l i a r -i z e themselves w i t h his w o r k . They must approach the study of Hopper much as I have d o n e . 116 For M r s . W i l l i a m s , her r o l e was to commun ica te a p rev ious ly recorded message to a group of peop le in a g a l l e r y s e t t i n g . Her job was to reduce a who le t r a d i t i o n , b o i l i t down and prepare a short ta lk su i tab le for a gu ided tour - a thumbnai l ske tch of the current Hopper i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . In order for her to do that she had to go over the same ground that I had c o v e r e d ; read the same books , look up the same m a g a z i n e a r t i c l e s , become aware of w h i c h c r i t i c a l accounts p rov ided the "bes t " d iscussion of h is w o r k . That I f e l t c h e a t e d about the in fo rmat ion she was g i v i n g that day te l l s more about me than i t does about M r s . W i l l i a m s . What was I e x p e c t i n g a n y w a y ? Su re l y the no t ion of t r a d i t i o n and i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d i n f o r m a t i o n , the t w o ideas that I had been t r y i n g to work w i t h , i m p l i e d roles such as M r s . W i l l i a m s ' . W h y had I been so i l l - p r e p a r e d for i t when I ran in to i t ? Her job was mere ly to transmit a body of k n o w l e d g e and i n te rp re t i ve p rac t ices w h i c h are a l r e a d y estab l ished and l e g i t i m a t e d . She was s imp ly passing on the proper ly a u t h o r i z e d vers ion of Edward Hopper . If she had i n t roduced new in format ion I p robab ly w o u l d have made an ass of myself by t e l l i n g her she was w r o n g . C e r t a i n l y the c r i t i c s w o u l d have i m m e d i a t e l y d i s c r e d i t e d i t as sheer nonsense. It w o u l d be i l l e g i t m a t e in format ion b e -cause the c r i t i c s w o u l d have volumes of documenta t ion to show o t h e r w i s e . For what she was djoing, M r s . W i l l i a m s was requ i red to learn what had been sa id about Hopper a l r e a d y , by peop le i n au thor i t y - peop le whose business i t is to know such th ings . It is these experts who design and l e g i t i m a t e the in terpretat ions of Hopper 's w o r k . It w i l l be up to them to change i t . That M r s . W i l l i a m s was passing a l o n g in fo rmat ion w i thout in terpos ing herself and her ideas in to the process is part of the s o c i a l accompl i shment of an a r t i s t i c t r a d i t i o n . 117 A p p e n d i x A I " M y a im i n p a i n t i n g has a lways been the most e x a c t t ranscr ip t ion possible of my most i n t imate impressions of n a t u r e . If this end is a t t a i n a b l e , s o , i t c a n be s a i d , is pe r fect ion in any other i d e a l of p a i n t i n g or in any other of man's a c t i v i t i e s . The trend i n some of the contemporary movements in a r t , but by no means a l l , seems to deny this i d e a l and to me appears to l e a d to a purely d e c -o r a t i v e c o n c e p t i o n of p a i n t i n g . O n e must perhaps q u a l i f y this statement and say that seeming ly opposi te tendenc ies e a c h c o n t a i n some modicum of the o ther . I have t r i e d to present my sensations i n what is the most c o n g e n i a l and imp /ess ive form possible to m e . The t e c h n i c a l obstac les of p a i n t i n g p e r -haps d i c t a t e this f o r m . It der ives a lso from the l i m i t a t i o n s of p e r s o n a l i t y . O f such may be the s i m p l i f i c a t i o n s that I have a t t e m p t e d . I f i n d in w o r k i n g , a lways the d is tu rb ing int rus ion of e lements not a part  of my most in terested v i s i o n , ( i t a l i c s mine) and the i n e v i t a b l e o b l i t e r a -t ion and rep lacement of this v i s i o n by the work i tse l f as i t p roceeds . The struggle to prevent this d e c a y i s , I t h i n k , the common lot of a l l painters to whom the i n v e n t i o n of a rb i t ra ry forms has lesser in te rest . I b e l i e v e that the great pa inters , w i t h the i r i n t e l l e c t as master, have attempted to f o r c e this u n w i l l i n g medium of pa int and canvas in to a record of the i r emot ions . I f i n d any d igress ion from this la rge a im leads me to bo redom. II The quest ion of the v a l u e of n a t i o n a l i t y i n art is perhaps unsolvable<> In genera l i t c a n be sa id that a nat ion 's art is greatest when i t most re f l ec ts the c h a r a c t e r of its p e o p l e . F rench art seems to prove t h i s . The Romans were not an a e s t h e t i c a l l y sens i t i ve p e o p l e , nor d i d G r e e c e ' s i n t e l l e c t u a l domina t ion over them destroy the i r r a c i a l c h a r a c t e r , but who is to say that they might not have produced a more o r i g i n a l and v i t a l art w i thou t the d o m i n a t i o n . O n e might d raw a not too f a r - f e t c h e d p a r a l l e l be tween F rance and our l a n d . The domina t ion of F rance in the p las t i c arts has been almost c o m p l e t e for the last th i r t y years or more i n the c o u n t r y . "If an a p p r e n t i c e s h i p to a master has been necessary , I th ink we have served i t . A n y further r e l a t i o n of such a c h a r a c t e r c a n o n l y mean h u m i l i a t i o n to us. A f t e r a l l we are not F rench and never c a n be and any attempt to be so , is to deny our i n h e r i t a n c e and to try to impose upon ourselves a c h a r a c t e r that c a n be noth ing but a veneer upon the sur face o In its most l i m i t e d sense, modern art w o u l d seem to c o n c e r n i t se l f o n l y w i t h the t e c h n i c a l innovat ions of the p e r i o d . In its larger and to me i r r e v o c a b l e sense it is the art of a l l t i m e ; of d e f i n i t e persona l i t ies that remain fo rever modern by the fundamenta l truth that is i n them. It makes M o l i e r e at his greatest as new as Ibsen, or G i o t t o as modern as C e z a n n e . Just what t e c h n i c a l d i scove r ies c a n do to assist i n te rp re t i ve power is not c l e a r . It is true that the Impressionists perhaps g a v e a more f a i t h -fu l representat ion of nature through t h e i r d i scove r ies in o u t - o f - d o o r p a i n t i n g , but that they increased the i r stature as artists do by so do ing is c o n t r o v e r s i a l . It might here be noted that Thomas Eakins i n the n ine teenth centu ry used the methods of the s e v e n t e e n t h , and is one of the f e w painters of the last genera t ion to be a c c e p t e d by contemporary thought in this c o u n t r y . If the t e c h n i c a l i nnovat ions of the Impressionists led mere ly to a more a c c u r a t e representat ion of na tu re , i t was perhaps of not much v a l u e in e n l a r g i n g the i r powers of e x p r e s s i o n . There may come or perhaps has come a t ime when no further progress in t ruthful representat ion is poss ib le . There are those who say that such a point has been r e a c h e d and attempt to subst itute a more and more s i m p l i f i e d and d e c o r a t i v e c a l l i g r a p h y . This d i r e c t i o n is s t e r i l e and wi thout hope to those who wish to g i v e p a i n t i n g a r i che r and more human mean ing and a w i d e r s c o p e . N o one c a n c o r r e c t l y fo recast the d i r e c t i o n that p a i n t i n g w i l l t ake in the next few years , but to me at least there seems to be a revu ls ion against the i n v e n t i o n of a rb i t ra ry and s t y l i z e d d e s i g n . There w i l l b e , I t h i n k , an attempt to grasp a g a i n the surprise and a c c i d e n t s of na tu re , and a more in t imate and sympathet ic study of its moods, together w i t h a renewed wonder and h u m i l i t y on the part of such as are s t i l l c a p a b l e of these bas ic r e a c t i o n s . " A p p e n d i x B 119 SMITHSONIAN I N S T I T U T I O N A I D T 1 W A S H I N G T O N C E N T E R FA-PG BUILDING, 8th & F STREETS, W A S H I N G T O N , D.C. 20560 (202) 381-6174 J L X February 19, 1971 Mr. James B. Bledsoe Department of Anthropology and Sociology University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Dear Mr. Bledsoe, The Archives of American Art has a few Hopper letters, most of them quite routine. I enclose a copy of our Journal which includes a short piece based on some of our material. But it is true that Hopper papers are scarce. The leading authority is Lloyd Goodrich, who has gathered a large,  amount of information on Hopper's work. I believe he plans to publish a book and is accordingly reluctant to share his documentary information. Sti l l , you might write to him in care of the Whitney Museum in New York. Both that institution and the Museum of Modern Art have produced excellent Hopper exhibition catalogues. The Whitney Museum is also the heir to the  Hopper estate. As for the Archives, the Journal will give you some idea of our resources. If you could persuade the University of British Golumbia library to become a member, it would receive all back issues and, this summer, a fairly complete guide to our collections. This year we hope to open a branch office on the west coast, probably in San Francisco, which will have a duplicate set of the microfilm containing most of our collections. Sincerely, / Garnet t' McCoy Deputy Director-Archivist^ GM:lw T R U S T E E S Russell l.yncs >ward W. I.ipman Harold O. I.ovc is. Otto I.. Spaeth nforcl C. Stoddard Irving Burton President Vice President Vice President Vice President Treasurer Secretary Henry deK Baldwin Edmond duPont Joseph M. Mirshhorn James IIii(ophry III Miss Milka IconomofT Eric I.arrabee Robert I.. McNeil, Jr. Abraham Mclamed Henry Pearlman Mrs. Dana M. Raymond Mrs. William I,. Richards E. P. Richardson Chapin Riley Girard I,. Spencer Edward M. M . Warburg James H . Wineman Willis F. Woods Laurence A. Flcisrhmau Mrs. Edsel 11.Void DIRECTOR William E. Woolfcndcn 120 N o t e s C h a p t e r I: The Problem Formulated and Put in Perspect ive 1. S e e , for e x a m p l e , The M o d e r n A r t i s t ' s A s s o c i a b i l i t y : C o n s t r u c t i n g A S i tua ted M o r a l R e v o l u t i o n by Rona ld J . S i l ve rs in D e v i a n c e and R e s p e c t a b i l i t y : The S o c i a l C o n s t r u c -t i o n of M o r a l M e a n i n g s , J a c k Doug las , Ed i tor , Basic Books. 2 . The 'c lass turned into a k i n d of exper imenta l t e a c h i n g labora to ry , a s t u d e n t / t e a c h e r workshop for the deve lopment of a l t e r n a t i v e methods in the t e a c h i n g of s o c i o l o g y g e n e r a l l y - s o c i o l o g y of art i n p a r t i c u l a r . See Le t t i ng G o in the C lass room, by Ronald J . S i l v e r s , w h i c h was presented at the C a n a d i a n S o c i o l o g y and A n t h r o p o l o g y A s s o c i a -t i o n meetings in S t . J o h n ' s , N e w f o u n d l a n d , J u n e , 1971 . 3 . James Thra l l Soby and Dorothy C . M i l l e r , Romant ic Pa in t ing i n A m e r i c a , N e w Y o r k : The Museum of M o d e r n A r t , 1943, p. 39 f n . 4 . See 'The Timeless S p a c e of Edward H o p p e r " by J e a n G i l l i e s in A r t J o u r n a l , Summer, 1972, V o l . X X X I , number 4 . , pp 4 0 4 - 4 1 2 . It i s , to my k n o w l e d g e , the most recent and best e x p l i c a t i o n of the H o p p e r / C r i t i c phenomenon. It is a departure from the s tandard i zed in te rp re ta t ion of his w o r k . G i l l i e s , h o w e v e r , makes two ve ry c r u c i a l mistakes i n her a rb i t rary start ing c o n d i t i o n s . O n e is that she takes the c r i t i c s at the i r word and never bothers to examine the b u i l d u p of the i n te rp re t i ve t r a d i t i o n that sur -rounds Hopper . S e c o n d l y , she used the corpus of pa int ings that the c r i t i c s have s e l e c t e d as b e i n g the "essent ia l Edward H o p p e r " ; the corpus that best lends i tse l f to the in te rp re ta t ion that the c r i t i c s have g i v e n . G i l Ties c a n demonstrate her theory b e -cause i n the paint ings she a n a l y z e s those interpretat ions work e f f e c t i v e l y . It w o u l d be in terest ing to see her try to a p p l y her theory to Hopper 's paint ings w h i c h have not been i n c l u d e d in the essential corpus for one reason or another . 5 . E. H . G o m b r i c h , "The Car toon is t ' s A r m o u r y " in M e d i t a t i o n s O n A Hobby Horse, Phaidon Press, London , p. 2 8 . 6 . A l f r e d S c h u t z , C o l l e c t e d Papers, V o l . I, p. 348 7 . There are p a r a l l e l propert ies that do ex is t be tween language , on the one h a n d , and the v i sua l v o c a b u l a r i e s of art on the o ther . In this study I have been c a r e f u l to say that they are o n l y analogous s ince a f u l l deve lopment of the i r p a r a l l e l propert ies w o u l d be an ex t reme ly c o m p l i c a t e d subject and goes w e l l beyond the scope of this p ro jec t . 8 . J a c k Burnham, The Structure of A r t . G e o r g e B r a z i l l e r , I n c . , N e w Y o r k , 1971 . p. 66 9 . V i c t o r Barnow. C u l t u r e and Pe rsona l i t y . H o m e w o o d , I l l i n o i s , The Dorsey Press, I nc . 1963 . pp 2 6 0 - 2 6 1 . 121 Chap te r II - The In i t i a l Problem of C a t e g o r i z a t i o n 10 . The c o n c e p t of "gen re " shou ld not be confused w i t h "genre p a i n t i n g " . It c a n become confus ing because of the f a c t that a p a r t i c u l a r s u b - c l a s s (genre pa int ing) and a genera l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n procedure (genre) have the same name. G e n r e p a i n t i n g c a n descr ibe the e p i c or great o d e , c o n v e y a yarn or t a l e , or s imp ly i l l us t ra te an i n c i d e n t . A r t i s ts l i k e F r e d e r i c k Remington or C h a r l e s Russell who pa in ted scenes from the ' o l d west ' w o u l d c e r t a i n l y be i n c l u d e d w i t h i n the boundar ies of the term 'genre pa in te rs ' . What is more , desp i te the l i m i t i n g constraints imposed by the d e f i n i t i o n g i v e n a b o v e , there seems to be enough d i f f e r e n c e of o p i n i o n as to what a genre pa in t i ng a c t u a l l y is for me to i n c l u d e r e l i g i o u s paint ings w i t h i n the boundary as w e l l . T intoretto 's "Chr i s t on the Sea of G a l i l e e " or W i l l i a m B lake ' s i n te rp re ta t ion of the Book of J o b w o u l d be cons idered -i f not outr ight genre p a i n t i n g - as paint ings that f e l l w i t h i n a re l i g ious g e n r e . 11 . Burnham, o p . c i t . , p. 3 9 . 12 . I b i d . p. 3 6 . 13 . G e r a l d J o n e s , " O n w a r d and Upward w i t h The Ar ts ( S c i e n c e F i c t i o n ) " , The N e w Y o r k e r . J u l y 2 9 , 1972. p. 3 4 . 14. Dorothy E. S m i t h , " K is M e n t a l l y III: The A n a t o m y of a Fac tua l A c c o u n t " in M . A t k i n s o n and R. Watson (eds . ) Ethnographies . ( M a r t i n Robertson Ltd . L o n d o n , f o r t h c o m i n g , F a l l , 1974). 15. Burnham, o p . c i t . , p. 4 0 16 . M i l t o n W . B rown . A m e r i c a n Pa in t ing from the A rmory Show to the Depress ion . P r i n c e t o n , N . J . , 1955. pp . 1 7 3 - 1 7 6 , 180, 181 . 17. Br ian O ' D o h e r t y . O b j e c t and Idea , 1967. "Edward H o p p e r " , pp . 4 3 , 4 4 . 18. L l o y d G o o d r i c h . W h i t n e y Museum of A m e r i c a n A r t : Edward Hopper Ret rospect ive E x h i b i t i o n , 1950 . 19. A r t In A m e r i c a . S e p t e m b e r / O c t o b e r , 1967. V o l . 5 5 . N u m b e r 5 . "Sao Paulo : Homage to H o p p e r " , p. 8 4 . 2 0 . J a c k S m i t h , " A l o n e i n A n A u t o m a t " . S e a t t l e T imes, Sa tu rday , A p r i l 8 , 1972. 2 1 . Forbes Watson , " A N o t e on Edward H o p p e r " . V a n i t y F a i r , V o l . 3 1 . (February , 1929) . p p . 6 4 , 9 8 , 107. 2 2 . G a r n e t t M c C o y . " C h a r l e s B u r c h f i e l d and Edward Hopper : Some Documentary N o t e s " , A r c h i v e s of A m e r i c a n A r t , V o l . 7 . Numbers 3 and 4 . J u l y - O c t o b e r , 1967 . p. 1 3 . 2 3 . I b i d . p. 12 . 2 4 . I b i d . p. 15 . 2 5 . Suzanne Bur rey , "Edward Hopper : The Empty ing S p a c e s " A r t D i g e s t . V o l . 2 9 . A p r i l 1, 1955. p. 10 . 2 6 . Br ian O ' D o h e r t y . "Por t ra i t : Edward H o p p e r " . A r t in A m e r i c a . V o l . 5 2 , December , 1967 . p. 8 0 . O ' D o h e r t y a r t i c l e , i n c i d e n t a l l y , is one of the best rev iews that I came across in my resea rch . It is an i n - d e p t h i n t e r v i e w and took p l a c e - off and on - over a per iod of severa l years . 2 7 . I b i d . p. 7 2 . 2 8 . Parker T y l e r . "The Lonel iness of the C r o w d and the Lonel iness of the U n i v e r s e : A n A n t i p h o n a l " . A r t N e w s A n n u a l . V o l . 2 6 . 1957. pp . 8 6 - 1 0 7 . Chapte r III - The C o n s t r u c t i o n and Establ ishment of the Interpret ive T r a d i t i o n . 2 9 . J o h n O ' D w y e r and Raymond Le M a z e . G l o s s a r y of M o d e r n A r t . N e w Y o r k ; P h i l o s o p h i c a l L i b r a r y , p. 8 1 . 3 0 . Herbert Re id ( e d . ) , The Thames and Hudson E n c y c l o p e d i a of the A r t s . London: Thames and Hudson , 1966. p. 6 5 7 . 3 1 . Raymond L is te r . V i c t o r i a n N a r r a t i v e Pa in t ings . London , Museum Ftess L i m i t e d . 1966 . p. 9 0 . 3 2 . L is te r , I b i d . pp . 6 2 - 7 1 . 3 3 . James B ledsoe . Edward H o p p e r , p. 15 . A n unpub l i shed paper . 3 4 . Thomas H . L ineweare r III and R icha rd H . Backus . The N a t u r a l H is tory of Sharks . The T r i n i t y Press, Worcester and L o n d o n . 1970 . p. 3 1 . 3 5 . Rudolf A r n h e i m . A r t and V i s u a l Pe rcept ion : a* psycho logy of the c r e a t i v e e y e . U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press. B e r k e l e y . 1954. 3 6 . M a u r i c e N a t a n s o n . "The F a b r i c of Exp ress ion" , p. 5 0 5 . The R e v i e w of M e t a p h y s i c s . V o l . X X I . N o . 3 , M a r c h , 1968. Issue # 8 3 . pp . 4 9 1 - 5 0 5 ^ 3 7 . Dorothy S m i t h . O p . c i t . p. 1 . 3 8 . She ldon Twer . "Persons'Structures for M a k i n g Sense O u t of Behav io ra l Episodes: Examinat ions of Persons' Descr ipt ions of Behav io ra l E p i s o d e s . " I rv ine S c h o o l of S o c i a l S c i e n c e . 1969. p. 4 1 . ( M i m e o g r a p h e d ) . 123 3 9 . I b i d . , p. 4 1 . 4 0 . H a r o l d G a i l y . N a t u r e is Y o u r G u i d e . London: C o l l i n s . 1956. p. 2 3 . 4 1 . Tom W o l f e . The K a n d y K o l o r e d Tanger ine F l a k e S t reaml ine B a b y . N e w Y o r k , Far rar , Straus, and G r o u x . 1965. p. 8 3 . 4 2 . "By T r a n s c r i p t i o n " . T i m e . V o l . 5 5 , February 2 0 , 1950 . p. 6 0 . 4 3 . I b i d . , p. 6 0 . 4 4 . Romant ic Pa in t ing in A m e r i c a , o p . c i t . p. 39 f n . 4 5 . J e r z y P e l c . " O n the C o n c e p t of N a r r a t i o n " . S e m i o t i c a , V o l . I l l , N o . 1 . 1971 . . p. 6 . 4 6 . Lewis M u m f o r d . "Two A m e r i c a n s " . The N e w Y o r k e r . V o l . 3 4 . N o v e m b e r 1 1 , 1933. pp . 6 0 - 6 1 . 4 7 . H o r a c e G r e g o r y . " A N o t e on H o p p e r " . The N e w R e p u b l i c . V o l . 7 7 . December 13 , 1933 . p. 132. 4 8 . G r e g o r y . I b i d . p. 132 . 4 9 . G r e g o r y . I b i d . p. 132 . 5 0 . Douglas Denn is ton . U n i v e r s i t y of A r i z o n a , Tucson . A Ret rospect ive E x h i b i t i o n of  O i l s and Wate rco lo rs by Edward Hopper . 1963 . p. 5 1 . S m i t h , o p . c i t . 5 3 . L l o y d G o o d r i c h . Edward Hopper Ret rospect ive E x h i b i t i o n . N e w Y o r k . W h i t n e y Museum of A m e r i c a n A r t . 1950 . p. 8 . 5 3 . Frank G e t l e i n . " A m e r i c a n L ight : Edward H o p p e r " . The N e w R e p u b l i c . V o l . 152 . J a n u a r y 9 , 1965 . p. 2 8 . 5 4 . Parker Ty ler : "Edward Hopper : A l i e n a t i o n by L i g h t " . M a g a z i n e of A r t . V o l . 4 1 . December , 1948. pp . 2 9 2 - 2 9 3 . 5 5 . T y l e r . I b i d . p . 2 9 3 . 5 6 . O ' D o h e r t y . o p . c i t . p. 7 8 . 5 7 . L l o y d G o o d r i c h . Edward Hopper . N e w Y o r k . Har ry N . A b r a m s , I n c . , 1 9 7 1 . p. 1 5 1 . 5 8 . A . T. Baker . " L i g h t and L o n e l i n e s s . " T i m e . V o l . 9 8 . September 2 7 , 1971 . p. 3 8 . 5 9 . O ' D o h e r t y . O p . c i t . p. 7 9 . 124 C h a p t e r IV - Edward Hopper 's O w n C o n t r i b u t i o n 6 0 . O ' D o h e r t y . o p . c i t . p. 7 8 . 6 1 . W i l l i a m S e i t z . "Edward H o p p e r : R e a l i s t , C l a s s i c i s t , E x i s t e n t i a l i s t " . Sao Paulo 9: U n i t e d States of A m e r i c a : Edward Hopper : Environment U . S . A . , 1 9 5 7 - 1 9 6 7 . W a s h i n g t o n , D . C . p. 2 7 . 6 2 . Parker T y l e r . O p . c i t . p. 2 9 2 . 6 3 . Parker T y l e r , o p . c i t . p. 2 9 2 . 6 4 . Lawrence C a m p b e l l . "Edward Hopper , and the M e l a n c h o l y of Robinson C r u s o e " . A r t N e w s . V o l . 7 0 . N o . 6 . O c t o b e r , 1971 . p. 3 7 . 6 5 . C a m p b e l l . I b i d . p. 3 9 . 6 6 . L l o y d G o o d r i c h . I b i d . p. 154. 6 7 . M a r g a r e t B r e u n i n g . "The W h i t n e y H a i l s Edward H o p p e r " . The A r t D i g e s t . V o l . 2 4 . February 15, 1950 . p. 10 . 6 8 . Lawrence Cam pbel I. "Hopper : Painter o f ' t h o u shal t n o t ' " . A r t N e w s . V o l . 6 3 . N o . 6 . O c t o b e r , 1964. pp . 4 4 - 4 5 . 6 9 . James Thra l l S o b y . "A r res ted Time by Edward H o p p e r " . Saturday R e v i e w . V o l . 3 3 . M a r c h 4 . 1950 . p. , 4 2 . 7 0 . M a r k S t r a n d . "Cross ing the Tracks to Hopper 's W o r l d " . The N e w Y o r k T imes . O c t o b e r 17, 1971 . p. 2 6 . 7 1 . J o h n C a s y . "Test imony and D e m e a n o r " . The N e w Y o r k e r . J u n e 19, 1971. p. 4 2 . 7 2 . Rafae l S q u i r r i e . "Edward H o p p e r " . A m e r i c a s . V o l . 17 . M a y , 1965. p. 1 5 . Chap te r V - "Champions are M a d e N o t Born" 7 3 . A . T. Baker . T i m e , o p . c i t . p. 154. 7 4 . L l o y d G o o d r i c h , o p . c i t . p. 154. 7 5 . James R. M e l l o w . "The W o r l d of Edward H o p p e r " . The N e w Y o r k Times M a g a z i n e (cove r story ) . September 5 , 1971 . p. 18. 7 6 . Bryan Robertson. "Hopper ' s T h e a t e r " . The N e w Y o r k R e v i e w of Books . V o l X V I I , N o . 10 . p. 3 9 . 125 7 7 . J o h n D e w e y . A r t as E x p e r i e n c e , p. 3 1 6 . 7 8 . J o h n M o r s e . "Edward Hopper : A n I n t e r v i e w " . A r t in A m e r i c a . V o l . 4 8 . A p r i l , 1960 . p. 6 2 - 6 3 . 7 9 . G a r n e t M c C o y . 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