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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. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Painting, 1754–1954," December 18, 1953–September 1954, no catalogue (withdrawn from view February 1954).

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

New York. National Arts Club. "A Collector's Choice," September 17–20, 1955, no catalogue.

Muskegon, Mich. Hackley Art Gallery. "A Collector's Choice," October 1–23, 1955, no catalogue.

Winston-Salem Public Library. "A Collector's Choice," November 3–23, 1955, no catalogue.

Dayton Art Institute. "A Collector's Choice," December 4–25, 1955, no catalogue.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Coe College. "A Collector's Choice," January 4–25, 1956, no catalogue.

El Paso. Texas Western College. "A Collector's Choice," February 8–29, 1956, no catalogue.

Atlanta Public Library. "A Collector's Choice," March 9–30, 1956, no catalogue.

Nashville Artist Guild. "A Collector's Choice," April 8–29, 1956, no catalogue.

Canton Art Institute. "A Collector's Choice," June 10–July 10, 1956, no catalogue.

Greeley. Colorado State College. "A Collector's Choice," July 20–28, 1956, no catalogue.

Lawrence. University of Kansas. "A Collector's Choice," September 4–24, 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.

Bienal Internacional de São Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo. "São Paulo 9, United States of America. Edward Hopper. Environment U. S. A., 1957–1967," September 22, 1967–January 8, 1968, no. 32.

Waltham, Mass. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University. "Edward Hopper. Environment U. S. A., 1957–1967," February 26–March 31, 1968, no. 32.

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, 1872-1972," February 25–March 26, 1972, no. 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. 92 (as "Ufficio in una piccola cittá").

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

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, Inc. "Edward Hopper: Early and Late. Drawings, Watercolors and Paintings," March 14–April 18, 1987, no. 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, no catalogue.

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. 204–205).

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

Robert Beverly Hale. "American Painting 1754–1954." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12 (March 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.

Henry Geldzahler. American Painting in the Twentieth Century. New York, 1965, pp. 79–80, ill.

Lloyd Goodrich. Edward Hopper. New York, [1971], ill. p. 279 (color).

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., El Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. 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.

E[lena]. M[ikhatovna]. Matusovskaia. Ėdvard Khopper. Moscow, 1977, p. 15, colorpl. 24.

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 with this work the artist demonstrates his unique ability to evoke silence amidst dense urban architecture.

Jerry William McRoberts. "The Conservative Realists' Image of America in the 1920s: Modernism, Traditionalism and Nationalism." PhD diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980, p. 83 n. 2.

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. (installation photo).

Gail Levin. Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1980, pp. 58, 70 n. 40, colorpl. 363.

Bernd Weyergraf in Amerika: Traum und Depression, 1920/40. Exh. cat., Akademie der Künste. Berlin, 1980, p. 147, ill. p. 148.

J. Bernlef. "Edward Hopper: In Dienst Van Het Licht." Kunstbeeld 5 (March 1981), ill. p. 21.

Peter Conrad. "Art." Harpers & Queen (February 1981), p. 124.

Alfred Kazin in Edward Hopper, 1882-1967. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery. London, 1981, pp. 25, 27.

Erika L. Doss. "Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 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), notes that this work was painted in August and September 1953.

Peter Conrad. The Art of the City: Views and Versions of New York. New York, 1984, p. 105.

Gail Levin in L'Empire du Bureau, 1990–2000. Exh. cat., Centre national des arts plastiques. Paris, 1984, p. 129, ill. p. 128, calls it "Bureau d'une petite ville".

Robert Hobbs. Edward Hopper. New York, 1987, pp. 45–46.

Pierre Fresnault-Deruelle. "Hopper ou la raréfaction de la Vie." Revue française d'études américaines no. 46 (November 1990), p. 260.

Heinz Liesbrock in Edward Hopper und die Fotografie: Die Wahrheit des Sichtbaren. Exh. cat., Museum Folkwang. Essen, 1992, pp. 25–26, 188, ill. p. 55 (color).

Edward Lucie-Smith. American Realism. New York, 1994, p. 124, pl. 112.

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

Gail Levin Whitney Museum of American Art. Edward Hopper: A Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. 3, Oils. New York, 1995, p. 346–47, no. O-349, ill. (color).

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.

Gail Levin in Edward Hopper and the American Imagination. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1995, pp. 117, 123, colorpl. 10.

William A. Camfield. More Than a Constructive Hobby: The Paintings of Frank Freed. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Houston, 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.

Virginia M. Mecklenburg with Margaret Lynne Ausfeld. Edward Hopper: The Watercolors. Exh. cat., National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Washington, D.C., 1999, p. 163.

Lucy Fischer. "The Savage Eye: Edward Hopper and the Cinema." A Modern Mosaic: Art and Modernism in the United States. Ed. Townsend Ludington. Chapel Hill, N.C., 2000, pp. 337–38.

Merlin James. "Edward Hopper: London." Burlington Magazine 146 (September 2004), p. 633, fig. 43, suggests that the depicted figure represents the artist.

Sheena Wagstaff in Edward Hopper. Ed. Sheena Wagstaff. Exh. cat., Tate Modern, London. London, 2004, pp. 26, 248, ill. pp. 204–5 (color).

Peter Wollen in Edward Hopper. Ed. Sheena Wagstaff. Exh. cat., Tate Modern, London. London, 2004, p. 72.

Roberto Pasini. Forme del Novecento: Occhio Corpo Libertà. Bologna, 2005, pp. 49-51, fig. 24 (color).

Gail Levin. Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography. 2nd rev. ed. [1st ed., 1995]. New York, 2007, pp. 470, 472, notes that this work was started in Cape Cod in the summer and finished in New York in October 1953.

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

Caroline Hancock in Hopper. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 2012, p. 345.

Mark W. Turner in Hopper Drawing. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2013, pp. 167, 170, fig. 310 (color).

Carter E. Foster in Hopper Drawing. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2013, p. 207, connects this painting to a drawing of a hand holding a cigarette from a study for "Nighthawks" (1942; Art Institute of Chicago).

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

Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, p. 530, ill. (color), colorpl. 468.



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