In 1988, Winton Blount gave forty-one paintings from Blount, Inc.’s collection to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). Included in Blount’s gift were three Edward Hopper pictures, one of which would soon become the most popular artwork in the museum. This was ‘New York Office’, an oil painted in 1962 and one of Hopper’s last pictures.
St. Louis is a long four hour drive across Missouri from Kansas City. At its outskirts, I have the overwhelming feeling of being back on the east coast, the place of my upbringing. The rolling, forested hills are reminiscent of the swampy backwoods of northern Virginia.
From Austin, I motor up I-35 to Dallas through Texas’s Bible Belt. Towns like West and Waco jam the airwaves with sermons about the holy responsibilities of man and wife and how to ‘get in touch with your spouse.’ The western front of America’s culture wars is a boring place.