Edward Hopper (American, Nyack, New York 1882–1967 New York)
Watercolor, gouache and charcoal on paper
13 7/8 x 19 7/8 in. (35.2 x 50.5 cm)
The Lesley and Emma Sheafer Collection, Bequest of Emma A. Sheafer, 1973
Not on view
On his repeated summer visits to Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Hopper painted several views of the Two Lights lighthouses and a Coast Guard station that stood in an adjacent cove (see 62.95). In Hopper's ledger, this location, with its white sand and vivid blue water, is described as having a "very clean & swept look" (Artist's ledger, Whitney Museum of American Art). His composition of the Coast Guard station and its landscape is similarly and appropriately clean. The water and the rocks in the foreground are painted in loose, limpid washes of color, and the repeated angles of the station's various gables, punctuated by the slender vertical of the flagpole that rises from its roof, are more tightly delineated. This is a sunny, tranquil landscape whose subject nonetheless alludes to the darker possibilities of dangerous rescues from the ocean. Hopper had worked very little in watercolor before 1923. However, he soon demonstrated a mastery of the medium after his wife Jo, who was also an artist, encouraged him to utilize it for his outdoor studies.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed (lower left): Edward Hopper/ Two Lights, Me.
[Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery, New York, 1927; received from the artist on November 3, 1927; sold to Sheafer]; Lesley and Emma Sheafer, New York (1927–his d. 1956); Emma A. Sheafer, New York (1956–d. 1973; her bequest to MMA)
New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Edward Hopper Retrospective Exhibition," February 11–March 26, 1950, no. 91 (as "Coast Guard Station," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Lesley Green Sheafer).
Madrid. Fundación Juan March. "Edward Hopper," October 13, 1989–January 4, 1990, no. 38 (as "Estacion de Guardacostas, Maine").
Roslyn Harbor, N. Y. Nassau County Museum of Art. "Landscape of America: The Hudson River School to Abstract Expressionism," November 10, 1991–February 9, 1992, unnumbered cat. (p. 46).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Edward Hopper," April 18–August 17, 1996, no catalogue.
Washington, D. C. National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. "Edward Hopper: The Watercolors," October 22, 1999–January 3, 2000, unnumbered cat. (fig. 71; as "Coast Guard Station").
Montgomery, Ala. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. "Edward Hopper: The Watercolors," January 30–March 26, 2000, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Drawings (1900–1950): Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 25, 2005–April 23, 2006, no catalogue.
Brunswick, Me. Bowdoin College Museum of Art. "Edward Hopper's Maine," July 15–October 16, 2011, no. 62 (p. 139, 174).
Gail Levin. Edward Hopper: A Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. 2, Watercolors. New York, 1995, p. 145, no. W-176, ill. (color) [reprinted as "The Complete Watercolors of Edward Hopper," 2001], as "Coast Guard Station".
Virginia M. Mecklenburg with Margaret Lynne Ausfeld. Edward Hopper: The Watercolors. Exh. cat., National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Washington, D.C., 1999, pp. 67, 158, 169n15, 171 n. 39, fig. 71 (color), calls it "Coast Guard Station".
Gail Levin. The Complete Watercolors of Edward Hopper. New York, 2001, p. 145, no. W-176, ill. (color) [reprints Ref. Levin 1995], as "Coast Guard Station".
Gail Levin. Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography. 2nd rev. ed. [1st ed., 1995]. New York, 2007, p. 223.
Carol Troyen inEdward Hopper's Maine. Exh. cat., Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Me. New York, 2011, pp. 28, 35 n. 57, p. 174, no. 62, ill. p. 139 (color).
Rosalind Ormiston. Edward Hopper Masterpieces. London, 2012, p. 49, ill. p. 65 (color).
Bonnie Tocher Clause. Edward Hopper in Vermont. Hanover, N.H., 2012, pp. 27–28, calls it "Coast Guard Station".