Dear Members and Friends,
One of the most commonly asked questions by visitors to the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) is to see works by Edward Hopper. Up until recently, our reply was that we did not have any work by Edward, but we had a landscape by his wife, Josephine. The general response was usually disappointment. Edward Hopper’s landscapes are synonymous with Cape Cod—he arrived here with Josephine in 1930, and they spent almost forty years in their classic Cape house with a large window overlooking Fisher Beach in Truro. Right up until his death in 1967, Hopper would come here to paint what became some of his most famous works, including Cape Cod Sunset, Corn Hill, Seven A.M., and Gas. In total, he painted more than one hundred oils and watercolors depicting the Cape.
However, 2013 marked an important milestone for the permanent collection as PAAM was gearing up for its centennial celebration in 2014. As part of this undertaking, a campaign to collect one hundred significant works of art for the permanent collection was launched. The Herman Maril Foundation, headed by David Maril, son of the artist, donated an exquisite female nude drawing by Edward Hopper. Several months later, Robert Duffy gifted a male nude drawing by Edward Hopper, dated 1901, to the collection. These works were proudly displayed throughout the centennial celebration, and the response to the two gifts was quite positive.
Fast-forward to 2016, when Anton Schiffenhaus and his brother Laurence reached out to Jim Bakker, PAAM President, to discuss the idea of having their extensive collection of art by Edward and Josephine Hopper come to the museum. After several meetings, the deal was sealed and our collection now included ninety-six drawings by Edward Hopper, sixty-nine drawings and watercolors by Josephine Hopper, and twenty-four diaries chronicling the Hoppers’ lives on Cape Cod and beyond. This unprecedented gift was made through the generosity of Anton and Larry Schiffenhaus—in honor of their mother, Mary, a close personal friend of the Hoppers—and two anonymous donors. Gifts of this magnitude speak volumes—the donors believe that PAAM is the proper repository of these important works and will uphold the highest level of care, scholarship, and visibility.
This summer, PAAM will launch an exhibition of the Hopper collection in its entirety, including the drawings, sketches, watercolors, and diaries, as well as some letters and other personal effects. In addition, Dr. Gail Levin, Professor of Art History, American Studies, and Women Studies at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of CUNY—an art historian specializing in art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—will be lecturing on the Hoppers, offering her extensive knowledge and insight into their time on Cape Cod, their relationship, and the works produced throughout their careers.
It is our honor this summer to feature an exhibition of this magnitude, a celebration of the Hoppers, PAAM, and Cape Cod.
Thank you, and we’ll see you at the Museum.