I drive deep into the heart of Alabama. The shiny glass of Montgomery’s office towers and strip malls replaces Tuscaloosa’s old red brick. The old southern diners morph into brightly lit burrito joints. My mother and I enjoy a margarita while discussing Jack Warner and his collection.
It is strange to think of Hopper as a historical painter. ‘Dawn Before Gettysburg’ doesn’t play nicely with the other historical pictures surrounding it in the Westervelt Warner collection in Tuscaloosa.
Tuscaloosa’s Hoppers were originally in the Gulf States Paper Corporation’s art collection. This is a big timber region. On the way down from Memphis to Tuscaloosa, the mixed pine and deciduous forests are impenetrable. An occasional dilapidated house, with a family relaxing on the porch, breaks up the journey.