Friday, February 06, 2009

Timeless Hopper

Last night, in appreciation of the First Thursday Free program, we went to visit the Seattle Art Museum.

The museum has had an Edward Hopper exhibit since November, and we'd been looking for the perfect opportunity to visit the show. Although small, "Edward Hopper's Women" included some impressive pieces that we both enjoyed.

My favorite painting they had (below) was interesting to consider in today's context. The museum had posted this interpretation:

"War and economic necessity changed the place of women in American society, impelling them out of the home, into the workplace, and onto the road to seek a better life. Hopper's women are figures suspended in time, subjects that embody educing associations with girlhood, motherhood, and home and earth, but now-as occupants of offices, cheap restaurants, movie theaters, rooming houses, or motel rooms-they are women strangely out of place."

Automat, 1927

I couldn't help but think about how things have changed from 1927 to 2009, and particularly in the last few months. I find that there are more and more women (and men) spending time in coffee shops throughout the city, libraries and cheap restaurants. The difference between the audience I'm describing and the casual coffee drinker is that we're not sitting down to relax. Our gaze is directed at a laptop screen instead of the tabletop. We spend long afternoons searching-just like this woman portrays in her contemplative stare-but for employment.


Anonymous said...

Interesting observation. Why don't you make time to RELAX?

Sarah said...

I'm relaxed! I do that on the's nothing worth writing about.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are relaxed and productive... How do you do it?? AL and I could use some of your energy! UT