Lot 35
  • 35

Edward Hopper 1882 - 1967

300,000 - 500,000 USD
1,085,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Edward Hopper
  • House on the Shore
  • signed Edward Hopper, dated 1924 and inscribed Gloucester (lower right)
  • watercolor on paper


Frank K.M. Rehn Gallery, New York, 1924
Jacob Kiefer Newman Sr., New Orleans, Louisiana, 1924 (acquired from the above)
Jacob Kiefer Newman Jr. (his son), New York
Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Cresci, circa 1940 (gift from the above)
By descent in the family
Acquired by the present owner, 2004


New York, Frank K.M. Rehn Gallery, Exhibition of Recent Watercolors by Edward Hopper, October 1924


Artist's Record Book, vol. I, p. 62, s.v.
Gail Levin, Edward Hopper: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1995, vol. II, no. W-101, p. 70, illustrated in color
Virginia M. Mecklenburg, Edward Hopper: The Watercolors, Washington, D.C., 1999, p. 168n27

Catalogue Note

Edward Hopper and his wife Jo Nivison spent the summer in Gloucester, Massachusetts periodically between 1912 and 1928. During their second visit, Jo persuaded Hopper to work in watercolor, a medium he had not used regularly since his days as an illustrator.

Lloyd Goodrich writes, "It was in Gloucester in 1923 that [Hopper] embarked on the watercolors of houses and village streets that were to become his first generally known type of subject—for a while, one might say, his trademark. He liked spare wooden houses and churches of the early years, their puritan severity sometimes relieved by jigsaw ornamentation; or the more flamboyant mansions of the late nineteenth century with their mansard roofs, wide spreading porches, and jutting dormers and bay windows. But equally he liked the poorer rundown sections, the bare unpainted tenements, the jumble of sheds, privies, and the fish houses and factories.

"Like every realist, Hopper loved character, and these varied structures were as exactly characterized as a portrait painter's sitters. And above all, he loved the play of sunlight and shadow on their forms, the way a white-painted clapboard wall looked under the baking summer sun. Never before had the American small town been subject to such candid scrutiny. When these watercolors were first shown, the general reaction, from the critics and public, was that they were satire. We were not yet used to seeing such commonplace, and to some of us ugly, material used in art. But actually, there was no overt satire. Hopper was painting an honest portrait of an American town, with all its native character, its familiar ugliness and beauties. On the whole, his attitude was affirmative. He preferred American architecture in its unashamed provincial phases, growing out of the character of the people. It may be noted that he was embodying the preference in paint before our architectural historians discovered these neglected styles" (Edward Hopper, New York, 1978, pp. 53-54).

Hopper achieved his first success in the watercolor medium when eleven of his Gloucester works were exhibited in a one-man show at the Frank K.M. Rehn Gallery in New York in 1924. All of them sold, including House on the Shore, and the landmark exhibition launched Hopper's career.