It has been suggested that Edward Hopper’s wife, Jo Nivison Hopper, rather than Edward himself, painted Cape Cod Barn. Jo Hopper, an unsuccessful painter, met Edward when he was forty-one and she forty. They married a year later.
My journey into the heart of the South begins the next day. Like the rumbling FedEx road trains, I am following the Mississippi south to Memphis. The river glistens in the rainy twilight, its massive breadth a reminder of its huge catchment area.
First Stop: Los Angeles
Edward Hopper didn’t like Los Angeles. He didn’t like the perennial traffic, as much an issue in his day as it is today. Despite the rush hour traffic, I feel a sense of release as I crawl towards Santa Barbara from LAX on the I-405. It’s a sun-drenched Friday evening. I’m driving a rented Chrysler PT Cruiser, my companion for the next twelve weeks as I cross America. My final destination is the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which is showing the largest retrospective of Edward Hopper’s pictures to date.