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Hopper Drawing, which opens today, May 23, 2013 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, is the first major museum exhibition to focus on the drawings and creative process of Edward Hopper (1882-1967). Known for his enigmatic renderings of rural and urban American life, Hopper’s paintings of seascapes, cityscapes, and their inhabitants are some of the most significant artworks of the 20th century.

The Whitney’s exhibition is not just a presentation of Hopper’s best-known works; it is a rare glimpse into the creative process that produced one of the most lauded oeuvres in modern art. Hopper’s drawings illustrate his ever-changing relationships with his subjects, which include the street, the movie theater, the office, the bedroom, and the road. Drawn from the Whitney’s remarkable Hopper collection, which includes 2,500 drawings given to the museum by the artist’s widow, Josephine, Hopper Drawing includes drafts of some of Hopper’s most recognized works alongside their oil painting counterparts. Works on view include Early Sunday Morning (1930), New York Movie (1939), Office at Night (1940), and Nighthawks (1942) together with their prepatory drawings and related works. The exhibition also includes pioneering archival research into the buildings and urban spaces that inspired Hopper’s work.

Drawing Hopper will be on view at the Whitney through October 6, 2013.

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On March 9, 2013 the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened a sweeping exhibition focused on the work of the widely popular 20th century painter and illustrator, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978). Rockwell is best known for his archetypical portrayals of American life as well as his cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post magazine, a job he fulfilled for over 40 years.

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell is a traveling exhibition that features 50 original Rockwell paintings as well as the 323 covers the artist created for the Saturday Evening Post. The show features some of Rockwell’s most recognized images including Triple Self-Portrait (1960), Girl at Mirror (1954), and Going and Coming (1947) as well as portraits of presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. American Chronicles includes a number of pieces from Rockwell’s archives such as preliminary sketches, color studies, photographs, letters, manuscripts, and detailed drawings.

The well-rounded exhibition allows visitors a glimpse into Rockwell’s artistic process and illustrates how he came to be the visual interpreter of day-to-day life in post-World War II America. American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell will be on view at the Crystal Bridges Museum through May 27, 2013.

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