The Whitney Museum of American Art has announced that it has received a major donation of archival materials relating to the life and career of artist Edward Hopper. The materials, to be known as the Sanborn Hopper Archive at the Whitney Museum of American Art, were gifted by the Arthayer R. Sanborn Hopper Collection Trust. The archive will be housed at the Whitney’s Frances Mulhall Achilles Library.
“The Sanborn Family has stewarded this collection and Hopper’s legacy for decades,” director Adam D. Weinberg said. “We are delighted that the family has chosen the Whitney—home to the largest collection of Edward Hopper works in the world—as the site for these fascinating and informative materials, and I am deeply grateful to the Sanborn family for entrusting us to establish this archive.”
The gift consists of about four thousand items, including more than three hundred letters and notes from Hopper to his family, friends, and colleagues; twenty-one notebooks in Hopper’s own hand; ninety notebooks by Hopper’s wife, Josephine Nivison Hopper; and extensive archival material relating to Hopper’s artistic career and personal life, such as photographs, personal papers, and dealer records.
Carol Troyen, curator emerita of American Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and principal organizer of the MFA’s 2007 Hopper retrospective, said, “This archive, so carefully and respectfully preserved, is a treasure trove of new information about one of the most admired and enigmatic American artists. The Hoppers were meticulous record keepers, and the notebooks, photographs, ledgers, correspondence, and even the ticket stubs included in the Sanborns’ generous donation provide insights into the Hoppers’ daily routines, their friendships, the economics of his art-making, and—perhaps most enlightening—Hopper’s private reflections on painting. It is a boon to scholars and to those interested in both Hopper the artist and Hopper the person.”