November 5, 2023
By Arthur H. Gunther III
There is the birth house of a famous American painter nestled in the Hudson River village of Nyack, N.Y., above Gotham but not of that city although diversity and culture and art have long been tributaries of the spirit in the region.
You cannot enter and move about at 82 North Broadway, the 1858 home built by Edward Hopper’s grandparents and in which he was born in 1882 without following the extraordinary river light that shoots up Second Avenue.
At almost any time of day, sunlight turns on at various windows, casts shadows on the pine floors and walls and makes a dance as the sunrise arrives and then goes to sleep in the dark, with a promise to appear again come morning.
It is – was – that certainty which informed young Edward, hoping to be an artist from early childhood, encouraged by his mother, who had talent as well. No matter where he walked or sat the light that was to be his art language followed him as tutor, mentor, inspiration, companion. That he said “all I wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the wall of a house” and that every painting he did was a search for himself proves the effect of that special
Hudson River light on America’s foremost realism painter.
Meant to be.
The writer is a retired newspaperman. firstname.lastname@example.org