How Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper painted America's entry into World War II
By Lars Trodson
Same theme. Same war. Entirely different approach.
Who could be more different in temperament and technique (at least on canvas) than Edward Hopper and Norman Rockwell? They were born at the same time (1882 and 1894, respectively), in nearly the same place (New York), and enjoyed spectacular success during their lifetimes.
But you'd never know they painted the same America, and no where is this more evident than two works that treat the same theme in two spectacularly different ways — and both of which were introduced about a month apart.
It’s been written that Edward Hopper started his most famous work, “Nighthawks,” sometime after the attack on Pearl Harbor. His wife, Jo, wrote in her diary that he finished the painting in late January, 1942, and that he had been working on it for about a month and a half.