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.