“People want to find the real diner, but Hopper was a synthesizer,” says Carter Foster, the Whitney Museum curator behind “Hopper Drawing,” a new show devoted to the painter’s process. Foster and his team have spent three years digging through archives and retracing the artist’s steps through Greenwich Village, where he lived for more than five decades, to find the real-life locations that inspired his work. In Hopper’s most famous painting, from 1942, the sources turned out to be both concrete and imagined. Click above to see the real thing.
Photographs: Opening Image, © Whitney Museum of American Art (Study for Nighthawks, 1941 or 1942). Lightbox, © The Art Institute of Chicago (Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942); The New-York Historical Society (Murad, Crawford lunch, cleaning dyeing); © Whitney Museum of American Art (Studies for Nighthawks, 1941 or 1942); Brown Brothers/Courtesy of Milstein Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations (Flatiron building).