Sunday, September 22, 2013

MoMA Exhibit: Hopper to O'Keefe: Hitchcock connections

Yesterday, I visited the Museum of Modern Art in NYC for the first time yesterday. I can't belief I waited this long to go. (Well, the admission price can explain part of that...) Anyhow, while there I was thrilled to see that they were showing a special exhibit of American Modern artists, featuring especially the work of Georgia O'Keefe and my personal favorite artist, Edward Hopper.
The House by the Railroad
by Edward Hopper (1925)

Lo and behold, what do I see while perusing but House by the Railroad. If you remember from a previous post, that painting is said to have been Hitchcock's inspiration for designing the Bates House in Psycho. When I told my friend who were with me (and consequently a little less art-in-film savvy), they were pretty impressed by the similarities. I have to say though, the painting was just spectacular in person, much more vividly real than any picture can convey.
Night Windows
by Edward Hopper (1928)
MoMA's collection of Hopper was very impressive. They had a lot of sketches he did of generally rural areas. But, what really struck my eye was a painting showing a view of a lonely, lovely woman through her apartment window. I was immediately reminded of, what else but Rear Window, my favorite film. Perhaps its unlikely, but I wondered whether Hitchcock, already proven to be inspired by Hopper's work, saw this painting and was inspired in the making of Rear Window. This particular painting, Night Windows (1928) reminded me especially of the lovely "Miss Torso" in Hitchcock's masterpiece. And if you really consider it, Edward Hopper's work shares the voyeurism that appears in many Hitchcock films, such as Rear Window, but more importantly conveys the loneliness and isolation that individuals felt in the city: such a key theme in the movie. It's worth thinking about. One of the most interesting reads for Hitchcock lovers, "Alfred Hitchcock Geek" did a very broad analysis of Hopper's influence on Hitch which I encourage you to read in the link I have attached for your convenience. I found it extremely enlightening. 
"Miss Torso"
Rear Window (1954)
I know this is just a short little post, but I thought that all you Hitchcock-lovers would enjoy it nevertheless. Perhaps I'm just trying to connect my favorite artist with  my favorite director, but then again, considering the coincidences, perhaps not. And of course, as a final note, I encourage you to get to MoMA if you can. It is certainly worth your while.


  1. Hi there - Very nice article about the Hitchcock/Hopper connection. Your readers will no doubt appreciate the source material you used, which can be found here:

    1. I offer a sincere apology for neglecting to do this. I am usually very conscious about that but I put this post together rather quickly and shoddily on my way back from NYC. Just to let you know, all other posts and sources that provide me analytic inspiration also appear on my "About" page in my Sources section. I have included your link into my post. Sorry again about that.


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