The beautiful Edward Hopper watercolor at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta was once known as ‘Cape Elizabeth’. However, it was posthumously changed to ‘Foreshore-Two Lights’ (1927). Two Lights is a rocky point with two lighthouses at the tip of Cape Elizabeth peninsula, Maine. So beautiful is it that Jo Hopper wrote about ‘Foreshore-Two Lights’, ‘This one of his best sea pictures [sic], calmly dramatic but making no claims.’
I begin my exploration of Route 66 on Good Friday. The destination is Laughlin, an oasis of sin on the Colorado River. It is situated in the sliver of Nevada between Arizona and California. The radio talkback shows are in proselytizing mode. The religious connotations of this journey are thrown into stark relief as I leave the last vestiges of civilization behind me and enter the Mojave Desert.
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.