Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Office in a Small City

Artist:
Edward Hopper (American, Nyack, New York 1882–1967 New York)
Date:
1953
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
28 x 40 in. (71.1 x 101.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
George A. Hearn Fund, 1953
Accession Number:
53.183
Not on view
The Metropolitan Museum acquired this painting shortly after it was completed in late October 1953. Begun in Cape Cod over the summer and finished in New York City, it was the only oil painting Hopper produced that year. Reprising one of his signature subjects—a solitary figure, physically and emotionally detached from his surroundings and other people—it was described by the artist’s wife as "the man in concrete wall."
Inscription: Signed (lower right): EDWARD HOPPER
[Frank K.M. Rehn Galleries, New York, 1953; sold to MMA]

New York. Passedoit Gallery. "The Ripe Years," May 3–29, 1954, no catalogue.

American Federation of Arts circulating exhibition. "A Collector's Choice," September 1955–September 1956.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Edward Hopper," September 29–November 29, 1964, no. 60.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Three Centuries of American Painting," April 9–October 17, 1965, unnum. checklist.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940–1970," October 18, 1969–February 1, 1970, no. 128.

Birmingham, Ala. Birmingham Museum of Art. "American Masters, 1871-1972," February 25–March 26, 1972, cat. 31 [see Ref. Weeks 1972].

San Juan. El Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. "Arte del Siglo Veinte: EE.UU. del Museo Metropolitano de Arte," April 19–May 31, 1974, no. 7.

Milan. Palazzo Reale. "La Ricerca dell'Identità," November 16, 1974–January 15, 1975, no. 62.

Southampton, N. Y. Parrish Art Museum. "Twentieth Century American Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 25–December 31, 1977, no. 10.

Moscow. State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. "Representations of America," December 15, 1977–February 15, 1978, no catalogue.

Leningrad. State Hermitage Museum. "Representations of America," March 15–May 15, 1978, no catalogue.

Minsk, Belarus. Palace of Art. "Representations of America," June 15–August 15, 1978, no catalogue.

Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. "La Peinture Américaine au 20e Siècle de la Collection du Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 28–August 23, 1978, no. 10 (as "Le Bureau d'une Petite Ville").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Tribute to a Curator: Robert Beverly Hale," November 16, 1978–March 4, 1979, extended to March 18, 1979, unnum. checklist.

Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Art Museum. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 9–April 21, 1985, unnum. cat. (p. 91).

Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Museum of Art. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 5–June 30, 1985, unnum. cat.

New York. National Academy of Design. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," July 16–September 1, 1985, unnum. cat.

Evanston, Ill. Terra Museum of American Art. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 15–November 10, 1985, unnum. cat.

Little Rock. Arkansas Arts Center. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 12, 1985–January 19, 1986, unnum. cat.

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 9–March 30, 1986, unnum. cat.

St. Paul. Minnesota Museum of Art. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 20–June 8, 1986, unnum. cat.

New York. Hirschl & Adler Galleries. "Edward Hopper: Early and Late. Drawings, Watercolors and Paintings," March 14–April 18, 1987, unnumbered cat. (fig. 62).

Marseille. Musée Cantini. "Edward Hopper," June 23–September 24, 1989, unnumbered cat (p. 109).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "14 Americans," July 16, 1990–January 2, 1991, unnum. checklist.

Essen. Museum Folkwang. "Edward Hopper und die Fotografie: Die Wahrheit des Sichtbaren," June 28–September 27, 1992, unnumbered cat. (p. 55).

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Edward Hopper and the American Imagination," June 22–October 15, 1995, no. 10.

London. Tate Modern. "Edward Hopper," May 27–September 5, 2004, unnumbered cat. (p. 104).

Cologne. Museum Ludwig. "Edward Hopper," October 9, 2004–January 9, 2005, unnumbered cat.

Joseph Stanton. "On Edge: Edward Hopper's Narrative Stillness." Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal 77 (Spring-Summer 1994), p. 26.

"Additions to the Collections." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12 (Summer 1953), p. 16.

Robert Beverly Hale. "American Painting 1754–1954." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (Summer 1954), ill. p. 188.

Robert Beverly Hale. "The American Moderns." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (Summer 1957), ill. p. 22.

Henry Geldzahler. "Edward Hopper." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 21 (November 1962), p. 115.

Edward F. Weeks. "American Masters, 1872–1972." Birmingham Museum of Art Bulletin (1972), unpaginated, no. 31, ill.

Henry Geldzahler. Arte del Siglo Veinte: EE.UU. del Museo Metropolitano de Arte/ Twentieth-Century Art: U.S.A. from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Institute of Puerto RIcan Culture, San Juan. San Juan, 1974, p. 24, fig. 7.

Helen A. Harrison. Twentieth Century American Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Parrish Art Museum. Southampton, N. Y., 1977, p. 19, no. 10, ill.

Helen A. Harrison in La Peinture Américaine au 20e Siècle de la Collection du Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. Brussels, 1978, unpaginated, no. 10, ill., reprints Ref. Harrison 1977.

Alfred Kazin. "Hopper's Vision of New York." New York Times Magazine (September 7, 1980), p. 56, notes that the artist is clearly more interested in the architecture of this scene than its psychology.

Ronald Paulson. "Edward Hopper and Some Precursors." Bennington Review (December 1980), p. 70.

Larry Rosing. "The Met's American Wing Raises A Lot of Questions." Artworkers News 10 (December 1980), p. 16, ill.

Gail Levin. Edward Hopper: The Art and Artist. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1980, p. 58, colorpl. 363.

Henk J. Bernlef. "Edward Hopper: In Dienst Van Het Licht." Kunstbeeld (March 1981), ill. p. 21.

Peter Conrad. "Art." Harpers & Queen (February 1981), p. 11.

Erika L. Doss. "Edward Hopper, Nightharks, and Film Noir." Post Script 2 (Winter 1983), pp. 20, 32, fig. 10.

Lowery Stokes Sims. The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Jacksonville Art Museum. New York, 1984, pp. 71, 90–91, ill. (color).

Pierre Fresnault-Deruelle. "Hopper ou la raréfaction de la Vie." Revue française d'études américaines (November 1990), p. 260.

Edward Lucie-Smith. American Realism. London, 1994, p. 124, plate 112.

Gail Levin. Edward Hopper: A Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. 3, Oils. New York, 1995, p. 347, no. O-349, ill.

Gail Levin. Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography. New York, 1995, pp. 470, 472.

John Loughery. "Just Deserts." Hudson Review 48 (Autumn 1995), p. 473, notes that this work is not about alienation because the human life depicted in it appears more staged than real.

William A. Camfield. More Than a Constructive Hobby: The Paintings of Frank Freed. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Houston, Tex., 1996, p. 40, ill., compares this work to Frank Freed's "& Co." (1967, Collection of Lesley and Pierre M. Schlumberger).

Gerd Gemünden. Framed Visions: Popular Culture, Americanization, and the Contemporary German and Austrian Imagination. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1998, p. 10.

Merlin James. "Edward Hopper: London." The Burlington Magazine 146 (September 2004), p. 633, fig. 43, suggests that the depicted figure represents the artist and the geometry of the architecture is characteristic of the artist's oeuvre.

Rosalind Ormiston. Edward Hopper Masterpieces. London, 2012, p. 23, ill. p. 137 (color).

Sarin Marchetti. Ethics and Philosophical Critique in William James. New York, 2015, pp. 2-5, compares this work to the idea of a contemplative Jamesian philosopher.



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