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.
Between the smogged, third-world freeways of El Paso, Texas and the strip malls of Carlsbad, New Mexico there is nothing. I cross the vast, open mesas of the Llano Estacado of west Texas on a straight, two-lane road. For hundreds of miles, there is no water, food, gas or living creature of any kind, apart from the occasional rocketing semi-trailer or pick-up truck driven by a cowboy-hatted Texan.