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Office At Night, 1940
oil on canvas
w 22" x h 25"
Gift of the T. B. Walker Foundation, Gilbert M. Walker Fund, 1948
Edward Hopper - American, 1882-1967
"The picture was probably first suggested by many rides
on the 'L' trains in New York City after dark and glimpses of office interiors
that were so fleeting as to leave fresh and vivid impressions on my mind.
My aim was to try to give the sense of an isolated and lonely office interior
rather high in the air with the office furniture which has a very definite
meaning for me.
There are three sources of light in the picture: indirect lighting from
above, the desk light and the light coming through the window. The light
coming from outside and falling on the wall in back made a difficult problem,
as it is almost painting white on white; it also made a strong accent of
the edge of the filing cabinet which was difficult to subordinate to the
figure of the girl.
I was also interested in the sombre richness of the furniture against the
white walls. Any more than this, the picture will have to tell, but I hope
it will not tell any obvious anecdote, for none is intended. "