The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota is the state art museum of Florida. At the time of my visit, it is undergoing major renovations. Sadly, its Hopper watercolor ‘Jenness House Looking North’ (1934) is packed deep in storage and unavailable for viewing. Instead, I pore over the watercolor’s correspondence and papers. These offer a fascinating view of Hopper’s life in Cape Cod.
Huntington Railroad Fortune
One of the enduring pleasures of visiting art museums is to imagine yourself as the owner of the priceless work of art in front of you. The truly democratic aspect of public museums is that every patron becomes an artwork’s owner for one ephemeral moment.
Nowhere is this illusion better preserved than at the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery in San Marino, an affluent Los Angeles suburb just south of Pasadena. Huntington, a superbly wealthy railroad and real estate magnate, owned twelve hundred acres of land here.