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Cost: Free, tickets required

Symposium: Edward Hopper: Hotels, and Other Spaces

Sat, Nov 16, 2020 | 9:30 am–4:30 pm

Leslie Cheek Theater

Join us for a two-day symposium of lectures inspired by the special exhibition Edward Hopper and the American Hotel. A distinguished group of scholars provides new insights into one of the most celebrated artists of the American Realist movement.

Symposium Schedule

Fri, Nov 15, 2020 | 6:30 pm–7:30 pm

Keynote Lecture: Edward Hopper and the Meaning of Home
with Dr. Erika Doss, Professor of American Studies, University of Notre Dame
Leslie Cheek Theater
$8 ($5 VMFA members)

Edward Hopper is well known for his paintings of dwellings—houses, apartment buildings, and hotels. Traveling throughout the United States and Mexico with his wife, the painter Jo Nivison, and often staying in tourist houses or rooms for rent, Hopper was deeply familiar with how Americans made themselves at home. Recounting his travels and his pictures of both occupied and abandoned places, this talk considers how Hopper visually negotiated competing ideas about the meaning of home in modern times.

Sat, Nov 16, 2020 | 9:30 am–4:30 pm

Leslie Cheek Theater
Free, tickets required


9:30–10 am Doors Open

10 am
Opening Remarks
Dr. Michael Taylor, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education, VMFA

10:15–10:45 am
“Hopper’s Paperwork”
Dr. Jennifer Greenhill, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Southern California

10:45–11:15 am
“What Hopper Saw: Drawing and Painting in New York City, 1930-1942”
Carter E. Foster, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Blanton Museum of Art

11:15–11:45 am
“Edward Hopper and the Power of Place”
Dr. Virginia M. Mecklenburg, Chief Curator, Smithsonian Museum of American Art

11:45 am–12:15 pm
“Hotels as “Camouflaged Brothels” for Illicit Affairs”
Dr. Vivien Green Fryd, Professor of Art History, Vanderbilt University

12:15–12:30 pm
Q&A with morning speakers

12:30–2:00 pm
Break for lunch


2:00–2:30 pm
“From Hotel Room to Western Motel”
Professor Margaret Iversen, Emeritus Professor, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex, England

2:30–3:00 pm
“Cabins and Culture: Hopper, Dodges and Buicks”
Dr. Jason Weems, Associate Professor of Art History, University of California, Riverside

3:00–3:30 pm
“Everywhere and Nowhere: Hopper, Interior Design and the Touristic Experience.”
Dr. Sara D. Reed, Assistant Professor, Department of Interior Design at Virginia Commonwealth University

3:30–4:00 pm
“The Modern Hotel as Dreamscape”
Dr. Matthew Pratt Guterl, Chair, American Studies & Professor, Africana Studies/ American Studies/ Ethnic Studies, Brown University

4:00–4:15 pm
Q&A with afternoon speakers

4:15 pm
Closing remarks
Dr. Leo G. Mazow, Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator & Head of the Department of American Art, VMFA