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130

WRITING ABOUT
FORGOTTEN WOMEN ARTISTS

THE REDISCOVERY OF JO NIVISON HOPPER

GAIL LEVIN

[]

Why bother with the work of women artists long consigned to the rubbish heap? What can their art and lives possibly tell us about their time and ours? When a woman's history has been totally forgotten, how can we begin to recover it? When we reach beyond the canon and question the status of the great men, what hostility and obstacles block the historical enterprise? These are some of the questions that arise from the case that I know perhaps better than any other. My research, which revived discussion of a forgotten artist, provoked a tremendous reaction, illustrating with particular vividness the disadvantages and injustices that have been the peculiar and perverse destiny of so many women.[1]

Josephine Nivison Hopper (1883–1968) signed many of her paintings Jo N. Hopper, reflecting only too well what happened to her identity near the midpoint of her life, when she married Edward Hopper (1882–1967). Today perhaps the most renowned of American realist painters, he had shown little sign of rising to such eminence when he and Nivison joined forces in 1924. Roughly the same age, she fortyone and he forty-two, neither had achieved anything comparable to the prominence and acclaim of an artist like George Bellows, who had been their classmate at the New York School of Art and had quickly rivaled the fame of their beloved teacher, Robert Henri.


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Yet Nivison had managed better than Hopper to establish at least a professional identity. In the New York City Directory for 1920 she listed herself as an artist, while Hopper, frustrated and bitter at his failure to find a public for his painting, still identified himself as an illustrator, the work he did to survive. In December 1922, both Nivison and Hopper exhibited in a group show of interior scenes organized by the artist Louis Bouché at the Belmaison Gallery of Decorative Arts in Wanamaker's Department Store in New York. But Hopper showed an etching, the medium in which he was beginning to find himself, while Nivison exhibited a watercolor. Her watercolors won her further attention in shows at the New Gallery on Madison Avenue in New York, directed by the artist Carl Sprinchorn for the wealthy attorney and painter James Rosenberg.

Riding this wavelet of success, Nivison was invited by the Brooklyn Museum to show six of her watercolors in an important group exhibition in the fall of 1923, a show that would prove a turning point, in different ways, for her career and that of her future husband. While they had sketched together in Gloucester the previous summer, Nivison had inspired Hopper to follow her lead in using watercolors. Generously, then, Nivison urged the Brooklyn curators to add Hopper's Gloucester watercolors to the show. As a result of her loyal initiative, the museum hung six of his next to six of hers. Both received some notice in the press, but the preponderance of critics praised Hopper's works, and the museum purchased one of them for its collection. To appreciate how important Nivison's help had been, we need only remember that this was Hopper's first and only sale of a painting since the Armory Show in 1913, and only the second painting he had ever sold.

Building on the momentum of his success in Brooklyn, Hopper found his first dealer, the Frank K.M. Rehn Gallery, where he would remain for the rest of his life. At last he could identify himself as an artist, and his career took off. He rapidly acquired a circle of interested patrons and museums who followed and sought his work. Meanwhile, with the marriage Nivison's professional identity suffered. For example, the painter James Chapin, who served on a museum jury that awarded Hopper a prize, told Nivison as late as 1938 that he recalled her work from the New Gallery show sixteen years earlier but supposed she have given up painting after marriage, as so many women did. When she declared that she was still painting, he included one of


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her Cape Cod landscapes in a juried show at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Nivison's husband only aggravated the situation, disparaging her work, disapproving of her choices of subjects, expressing embarrassment that he was married to an artist, and long refusing to intercede to help her get shown. She was slow to realize the depth of his ingratitude and hostility. Eventually, she managed to place her work in occasional group shows at institutions as important as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But by then her identity had shifted: it was no longer as Jo Nivison but as Jo Hopper, Edward's wife, that she received the occasional crumb. The suspicion that her husband was the main attraction even infects the story of her finding at long last, in the spring of 1958, a gallery to represent her work. Herman Gulack of the Greenwich Gallery came to call on Edward Hopper but ended up showing nine paintings by Nivison (as Jo Hopper) in a four-person show. Gulack also included Nivison's work in his Christmas show and promised her a one-person show the following year. But as luck would have it, he fell on hard times and went out of business before fulfilling the promise.

Nivison's identity suffered even worse indignities after her death. Lacking family or close friends, she saw no choice but to entrust her own and her husband's artistic legacy to the Whitney Museum of American Art when she died in 1968. The gift had no parallel or precedent in the annals of the Whitney or any other museum of the time. The museum showed itself inadequate to the challenge. After considerable delay, it announced a plan to disperse Hopper's work, but vigilant public opinion scotched it. As for Nivison, no announcement was ever made that her bequest included her work as well as his. Instead, without fanfare, the museum set about discarding whatever works it identified as hers.

The Whitney's decision reflected that era's prejudice against women artists, even though the museum traced its own origins to a woman who had devoted her life to art, the socialite sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. If we wonder how art historian John I.H. Baur, the Whitney's director in 1968, with his predecessor Lloyd Goodrich, determined that Nivison's work had no significance and made the decision to discard it, we need only look at the evidence. In 1951, when Baur published his survey book Revolution and Tradition in American


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Art, he illustrated 199 works of art, only 7 of which were by women.[2] Although Goodrich, a prolific writer on American art and an important early critical supporter of Hopper, probably shared Baur's and Hopper's contempt toward most women artists, he had included Nivison's work in several group exhibitions at the museum in the years just before her death, perhaps mindful that the couple was childless and calculating that she might outlive her husband and thus control his estate.

Despite Goodrich's gestures, Nivison expressed fears in her diary that her work would be destroyed.[3] Her intuition was uncanny. Keeping only three of her paintings for the museum's permanent collection, Goodrich and Baur trashed the rest, procuring no documentary photographs and leaving only a list. None of the three works retained was ever subsequently exhibited, and all had disappeared by the time I began work as the first curator of the Hopper collection in 1976; nor has any ever surfaced. The only things from Nivison's hand to survive at the Whitney were a few minor pieces that managed to pass as Hopper's; none of these have been published or exhibited, and none have been accessioned as her work.

Although Nivison's bequest came in 1968, a year marked by revolt against many forms of institutional authority, the Whitney's actions were challenged only when it was too late to benefit her. Her work had already been destroyed when, in 1970–71, groups of feminist activists such as Women Artists for Revolution placed eggs and Tampax on the Whitney staircase to call attention to the absence of women from a show that purported to survey the contemporary American art scene.[4]

To rescue Nivison from oblivion would require a new kind of monograph, shaped by a complex strategy. It would be necessary to assemble the sketchy visual evidence remaining and to supplement it with other forms of documentation. Available visual evidence includes the few works that survive along with the much more numerous reproductions of lost works that exist mostly in black and white. For example, Nivison published drawings in various magazines, such as the Masses, and newspapers. I even turned up a group of her drawings in the yearbooks and magazine of the college where she studied.[5] Professional black-and-white photographs of many of the paintings discarded by the Whitney survive in private hands, Nivison having commissioned them during her lifetime. Color reproductions could come from the few small oils and works on paper that survive at the Whitney,


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where they were saved by being catalogued incorrectly as works by Edward Hopper, and from the small number of her paintings, watercolors, and drawings that remain in private collections.

Not only recovery but interpretation of Nivison's work would require a complicated maneuver. I presented an initial view of her work in a biography of her husband. But I admit that this treatment is inadequate; women artists should not be reduced to being “significant others.”[6] Nivison's struggle to maintain a professional identity would need to be placed in the context of the attitudes that thwarted and frustrated other women artists of her day. The monograph would trace the obstacles Nivison's female classmates confronted at the New York School of Art during the first decade of the twentieth century, contrasting their situations with those of the male students there, who included many men who later made names for themselves, such as Edward Hopper, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Eugene Speicher, Walter Pach, and Guy Pène du Bois.

It was at the New York School of Art that Nivison caught the attention of Robert Henri, the school's most popular teacher. Shortly after the death of his wife, in December 1905, he asked Nivison to pose for a portrait he titled The Art Student, in which he captured her determined gaze, her intensity, and her winsomeness. Although her painting smock has slipped seductively down from her shoulders, Nivison grasps her brushes with resolve, bearing witness to her relentless ambition to be an artist. Weighing a mere ninety pounds, she nonetheless looks as if she would swat anyone who tried to stand in her way. Even though she adored her teacher and he, clearly in need of a new companion, showed exceptional interest in her, no romance ensued. Posing for Henri, which must have elicited envy from her classmates, was in itself instructive, for Nivison was then studying portraiture, which would remain a lifelong interest.

The attitudes of art teachers toward their female students, at the schools where Nivison studied (the New York School of Art and, earlier, the Normal College for Women in New York) and at other contemporaneous schools, are important to understand. If women were viewed merely as dilettantes who would get married and drop out, how much did that assessment affect their self-esteem and ambition? How much did the inability of women to support themselves as artists determine the path of Nivison's career? Answering such questions will


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also increase our understanding of the continuing subtle mistreatment of women artists by the male-dominated art establishment.

Nivison's landscapes resemble her husband's not so much because the two of them studied with the same favorite teacher as because it was Nivison's practice to paint a landscape to help Edward Hopper break through the painter's block from which he frequently suffered. The situation provides an unusual opportunity to consider differences in the rendering of the same subject by two intimate contemporaries and the possible sources of those differences, including gender, as a way of examining the space between experience and representation.

A monograph would have to examine Nivison's aesthetics not only in relation to those of her husband but also in relation to those of other artists, both her contemporaries and ours. A close reading of the record, including the scanty and disparate surviving examples of her work, demonstrates that she and her husband conceived of art differently. She constructed an identity for herself, insofar as the record lets us say that she did, not just as an artist but as one with a distinctive woman's perspective on experience and on what ought to be put into a painting.

To pursue such an analysis, we must define how her approach differs from his. Comparing their landscapes of the same location painted the same year, we can discern differences, but can these differences be assigned to gender? In the summer of 1927, having purchased their first car, the couple drove, with Hopper at the wheel (at his own insistence), from New York to Maine, searching for new subjects to paint. The lighthouse at Two Lights on Cape Elizabeth caught Hopper's eye. Nivison later recalled that when she remarked that she too would paint it, he snapped, “Then I won't.”[7] In the end, they both did, though only one watercolor by her survives (and two canvases and several watercolors by him). The differences in their approaches may result more from personality differences than gender differences. An introverted loner, Hopper portrayed the structure in isolation, reflecting the separation of men in the Coast Guard from their families, while Nivison, gregarious and sociable, included nearby houses in her picture.

Two years later, on a springtime excursion to Charleston, South Carolina, they found different subjects to paint. Because they were staying in a centrally located boarding house, Nivison could walk to the sites she chose to paint; Hopper never let her take their car out on her own. Although several of the watercolors Hopper painted on that


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trip survive, I have located only one work Nivison painted there, a watercolor of a local landmark known as the Pink House. The subject she chose dates from the mid-1690s and is constructed of pink Bermuda stone. A charming house with its original terra cotta tiled roof, it is said to be the oldest tavern building in the South. Although this quaint structure has attracted many artists, Hopper probably dismissed it as too picturesque. The subjects attracting him could be described as more ordinary and perhaps less stereotypically feminine if we consider the unusual pink color and curvilinear forms of Nivison's choice. Hopper was attracted by the more angular Ash's House, with its traditional veranda and strong contrasts between light and shadow characteristic of Charleston.

In 1930, when the Hoppers first began to summer in Truro on Cape Cod, each of them painted a canvas of the South Truro Meetinghouse Church. Nivison's version was a view from the side opposite the one that Edward subsequently painted; she worked near the cemetery, farther back from this Methodist church than he, “so as to see the sea beyond [the] row of hills,” she later claimed, wanting “no close foreground at this distance.”[8] In her diary she recalled in elaborate detail how her husband would drop her off with her easel and leave her in the wide empty landscape while he drove elsewhere to work on his own subject. She recorded telling a man who frightened her by approaching as she worked, “My husband…should be painting this church, more in his line than mine, but it must be painted, so I [am] trying my hand.”[9] The entry confirms that she painted South Truro Church before Hopper did and suggests why she called her version Odor of Sanctity. Nivison, who loved the aura of churches, evidently believed that this one had protected her from violation by the intruder whose presence she found so threatening. Not only did Hopper paint his own version of the venerable building later that summer, but he also made a caricature, Jo Painting South Truro Church in the Wind, poking fun at her for the difficulty she had had trying to hold on to her canvas.[10]

The difference between Nivison's approach and Hopper's suggests that she refused to follow her husband's advice that she give her forms weight. (He found that a defect in her work and Cézanne's.) Nivison never accepted Hopper's criticism. In 1959, for example, when the Metropolitan Museum curator Theodore Rousseau viewed Nivison's painting Obituary of 1948 (Figure 15), she noted in her diary that she


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figure

15. Jo Hopper, Obituary, 1948, oil on canvas


[Full Size]
had “babbled of Marie Laurencin & her triumph over specific gravity,” underlining one of the qualities she had sought to achieve in her painting that Hopper viewed as a flaw.[11]

Before I discuss the implications of Obituary, I want to consider one more set of paintings: Nivison's and Hopper's views over Washington Square from Hopper's studio. Both focus on the Judson church and its cross-capped tower. Hers, however, Judson Tower, Washington Square, Looking South (Figure 16), is vertical, and his, November, Washington


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figure

16. Jo Hopper, Judson Tower, Washington Square, Looking South, ca. 1950, oil on canvas


[Full Size]
Square,
is typically horizontal. Their different habits of vertical versus horizontal framing correspond with their divergent heights: she was barely five feet tall, whereas he was six feet five inches. Nivison added a bus to her painting, suggesting the presence of people, whereas he rendered the square empty. She framed her view with the ornate curves of their wrought iron fire escape and included many branches of winter
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trees; he, ever reductive, omitted the fire escape and all but a hint of the trees.

Nivison probably began Judson Tower, Washington Square, Looking South to prod Hopper out of his depression and into painting, but when she painted Obituary, another instinct was operating. Acutely aware of her spouse's contempt for still life and his vigorous disdain for what he called “lady flower painters,” Nivison intentionally disregarded the dominant male aesthetic in both her home and her time; her subject matter seems self-consciously female. She chose as the theme of this painting her deceased women friends. In fact, she was originally planning to call it Fleurs du Temps Jadis (Flowers of Time Past) in homage to her favorite poem by François Villon, “Ballade des Dames du Temps Jadis,” perhaps recalling how the French poet identified women with flowers. Behind a vase of dried flowers on a table by a window Nivison added her beloved cat Arthur, who had disappeared thirty-four years earlier, as well as views through the window of both the Washington Square Arch and their home on Cape Cod. Such a quirky painting has no parallel in the realist art of Edward Hopper.

But the monograph would have to pose some theoretical questions: Is there something intentionally feminine in such work? Did any of Nivison's female contemporaries share such characteristics? Do any women artists today display similar traits? The pen-and-ink drawings that she published in her college magazine and yearbook reveal a style somewhere between that of Aubrey Beardsley and that of Charles Dana Gibson, but her subject matter in those works self-consciously incorporates stereotypes of femininity, from concern with one's appearance to drinking milk for a healthy complexion. She was aiming at what she thought would please the students in a women's college at the turn of the last century. By her second year Nivison was identified as one of five “special artists” who contributed drawings. In one she depicts a young woman in cap and gown sitting on a high stool and in the other a dreamy young woman, dressed in ordinary attire, contemplating her reflection by candlelight in a mirror, where she appears in her graduation cap and gown.

Obituary and other examples of Nivison's most original and eccentric paintings, such as Jewels for the Madonna (Homage to Illa) of 1951, pose a further theoretical question. Such works invite reassessment in light of the postmodernist discourse that has brought attention


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to women artists like Florine Stettheimer, whose sophisticated, cluttered, and intimate subject matter lay outside the dominant male aesthetic of her contemporaries. Nivison's shrinelike arrangement of baubles on her dresser top takes on a different character in light of Audrey Flack's paintings from the 1970s. The work of other contemporary women artists such as Paula Rego, Lisa Yuskavage, and Rita Ackerman employs similarly banal images that they push toward the subversive. Was Nivison also trying to subvert? She certainly questioned the validity of her successful husband's aesthetic for her own work and resented his pressure on her to stop making art. She also protested the male art establishment's disdain for work by women artists. Some of her anger she channeled into her diaries and some into weekly meetings with a group of six women friends who called themselves the Euripides Gang, reading the tragedies of Euripides together and taking comfort in his constellation of determined, if desperate, women.

The monograph would also have to reassess Nivison's role as her husband's only model. She was not a passive prop; having acted with the Washington Square Players and other troupes, she consciously acted out her husband's fantasies, collaborating with him to perform what he wanted to paint. What is the interplay between Nivison as she posed for her husband and Nivison as she represented herself—between Nivison as image maker and as made-up image? Often she posed nude for her husband's paintings, such as Eleven A.M. (1926), Morning in the City (1944), and Woman in the Sun (1961). But for her only extant self-portrait (Figure 17) she posed in her early seventies wearing a pink lace bra, earrings, and a necklace. Jo had purchased the bra in 1956 as a birthday present from Edward, noting in her diary that it was “the most expensive thing of the kind I've ever owned” and commenting that it was “perishable & does nothing specially for me anymore than another layer of skin.”[12] In her self-portrait, Nivison was the subject of the painting but no longer the object of her husband's gaze and fantasy.

Finally, and fortunately for the prospective monograph, Nivison kept copious diaries from the early 1930s until near the end of her life. In them she recorded her efforts to preserve her identity as an artist and gain attention for her work and also documented her married life in detail: the books, articles, poems, and plays shared with Edward; her part in his work, shopping for costumes and props and serving as model; their travels in search of subjects to paint; their sojourns on


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figure

17. Jo Hopper, Self-Portrait, 1956, oil on canvas


[Full Size]

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Cape Cod; and their interaction with the art world, especially her husband's links with a network of galleries, museums, and male artists. Because Nivison is the sole witness for much of what she reports, her credibility must be determined. No one is likely to doubt her recitals of tea parties, books read, plays attended, trips, motels, or the progress of paintings, hers or his. And where testimony is available from other sources, it corroborates hers. But this point about her credibility has to be made, for some critics have cast doubt on what she reports about domestic and artistic tensions with her husband.

The monograph that I have been sketching should find an audience, but it will also be controversial, to judge from the response to excerpts from the diaries and to Nivison's work that I included in my recent biography of her husband. That both Nivison and my attempt to restore her to history have been attacked by antifeminists suggests that the monograph might include a preemptive strike.

Heading the pack, Hilton Kramer lost no time in labeling the biography of Hopper a “feminist soap opera.”[13] The art historian Abraham Davidson felt compelled to fabricate history, claiming that I “warmed to Jo on…several meetings during the writing of the book,” even though I never met Jo, who died while I was still an undergraduate.[14] Another writer labeled me “a strident feminist,” arguing that I blamed Hopper for his inability to live up to what that critic imagined was my idea of the perfect man: adaptable, responsive, and constantly nourishing the creative urges of his wife.[15]

Antifeminist reactions to the biography and to Nivison also emerged where they might not have been expected. In the last years of their lives, the Hoppers began to cultivate two aspiring young critics, Brian O'Doherty and Barbara Novak. O'Doherty interviewed the Hoppers on television, and in 1965 he selected work by Nivison, along with then obscure artists such as Robert Smithson, Robert Ryman, and Jamie Wyeth, for an exhibition called “Lesser Known and Unknown Painters” that he organized for the New York World's Fair. After Nivison's death, O'Doherty also praised her in print, in 1971, as “a woman of genuine if frustrated talents, extremely well-read, and at her best a brilliant and eccentrically original conversationalist.”[16]

Novak, too, praised Nivison, even featuring her ahead of Georgia O'Keeffe in a list entitled “Lady Flower Painters” for a special issue of the feminist journal Heresies entitled “Women's Traditional Arts: The


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Politics of Aesthetics.”[17] Novak knew the Hoppers too little to realize that “Lady Flower Painters” was one of the epithets Edward threw at Jo to demean her and other women artists. Ironically, Novak herself is a painter of flowers.

Novak and O'Doherty were still speaking well of Nivison when I interviewed them for the biography. But its publication, with the revelations of the diaries, seems to have given them a turn, for they subsequently claimed that Jo was “slightly mad” and was “a wife whose art was all too often reminiscent of her husband's.”[18] Their reversal closely fits the cultural pattern of reactions against feminism described by Susan Faludi in Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women, with a trace of opportunism governing their shifts from would-be intimacy, to praise in the context of fashionable 1970s feminism, to disparagement in the context of the backlash that has allowed them to take sides retroactively in the Hoppers' tensely productive menage.[19]

Dealing with these and other polemics will be a final task for the monograph. To be sure, Nivison was not following her husband when she painted the flowers he despised or the children, still less when she initiated a subject to spur him to work. As for “mad” and “insane,” those slurs are commonly employed to demean outspoken creative women. In her book Women and Madness, Phyllis Chesler describes madness as “an expression of female powerlessness and an unsuccessful attempt to reject and overcome this state,” arguing that the tragic experiences of women like Zelda Fitzgerald or Sylvia Plath symbolize the oppression of women's power and creativity.[20] Chesler might well have been describing Nivison's situation when she wrote, “Women are impaled on the cross of self-sacrifice. Unlike men, they are categorically denied the experience of cultural supremacy, humanity, and renewal based on their sexual identity.”[21] Remarkably, although Nivison was extremely angry and undoubtedly eccentric, she did not give up. Unlike many frustrated creative women, moreover, she did not escape her miserable plight through insanity. Any monograph on her work must begin by taking on her critics, not only those responsible for destroying her work but also those who would continue to dismiss her as “mad.”

The failure of men to accept the efforts of creative women was not unique to the visual arts. In a letter F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in 1934 to the physician of his wife Zelda at a clinic where she was being


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treated for mental illness, he made a comment that parallels Edward Hopper's attitude toward his wife's artistic efforts:

As to her writing: there is no longer any competitive element involved. There was a time when she was romping in what I considered “my” material, disguising her characters under such subtle names as F. Scott Fitzpatrick, when I thought she was tearing at the very roots of my profession, in other words, of our existence. She finally got the idea and desisted, but rather bitterly. At any rate all that element of competition in material which I had to turn into money, or if possible, into art, and which she was competent to turn only into essentially inefficient effort, we can now assume to be in the past.[22]

Hopper too felt threatened by his wife's efforts in his own professional arena. He experienced conflicts with his wife strikingly similar to those of Fitzgerald, yet he depended on her to model for him, keep his record books, handle much of his correspondence, and fend off those he wanted to avoid.

Nivison's fate was extremely unlucky, but she was not alone. Other artists of her generation await serious study: Hilda Belcher, Ethel Klinck Myers, Martha Rhyther Kantor, Mary Rogers, Helen Sawyer, Henrietta Shore, and many others. Articles give us a place to begin, but they are not enough, for they are often overlooked.

Some feminist art historians have suggested that the monograph as a genre should be discarded because of its traditionally masculine stamp. I would propose instead that it needs to take on a new form, tailored to the situation of artists whose lives were ignored and works neglected, when not actually lost.

NOTES

1. See Gail Levin, Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995). For clarity in this essay, I have chosen to distinguish the work of Jo Nivison Hopper from that of her husband by referring to her by her maiden name. [BACK]

2. John I.H. Baur, Revolution and Tradition in American Art (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1951). [BACK]

3. Nivison left extensive diaries, which are in a private collection. See Levin, Edward Hopper, xi-xiv. [BACK]

4. See, for example, Judith Hole and Ellen Levine, Rebirth of Feminism (New York: Quadrangle Books, 1971), 366–67. [BACK]


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5. See Levin, Edward Hopper, 148–50. Nivison attended the Normal College of the City of New York, now Hunter College of the City University of New York. [BACK]

6. See Whitney Chadwick and Isabelle de Courtivron, eds., Significant Others: Creativity and Intimate Partnership (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1993). [BACK]

7. Jo Nivison Hopper diary entry for January 13, 1941. [BACK]

8. Jo Nivison Hopper diary entry for June 30, 1961. [BACK]

9. Ibid. [BACK]

10. The Provincetown Advocate (March 21, 1940, 1) described the building as “a landmark famous throughout the Cape, known throughout the country, pictured by painters on hundreds of canvases” when reporting the church's destruction by fire after being hit by lightning. [BACK]

11. Jo Nivison Hopper diary entry for May 4, 1959. [BACK]

12. Jo Nivison Hopper diary entry for March 15, 1956. [BACK]

13. Hilton Kramer, “Mr. and Mrs. Hopper: The Closet Drama of a Miserable Misalliance,” Boston Globe, October 8, 1995. See my letter responding, November 12, 1995, B37. [BACK]

14. Abraham Davidson, “Behind Every Great Man…,” Wall Street Journal, October 4, 1995, A12. See my letter responding, captioned “Persistent Devotion to Ungrateful Husband,” November 8, 1995, A21. [BACK]

15. Although it has been cited in feminist circles, the first article that I wrote on Nivison, before I discovered her diaries, elicited no such antifeminist response. See Gail Levin, “Josephine Verstille Nivison Hopper,” Woman's Art Journal 1 (Spring/Summer 1980): 28–32. See also comments on this article by Carrie Rickey, “Writing (and Righting) Wrongs: Feminist Art Publications,” in Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s, History and Impact (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994). [BACK]

16. Brian O'Doherty, “The Hopper Bequest at the Whitney,” Art in America 59 (Summer 1971): 69. [BACK]

17. Barbara Novak, “Ten Ways to Look at a Flower,” Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics, Winter 1978, 47. [BACK]

18. Barbara Novak and Brian O'Doherty, letter to the editor, New York Times Book Review, October 29, 1995, 4, 48; see my letter responding on December 10, 1995, 4. [BACK]

19. Susan Faludi, Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women (New York: Crown, 1991). [BACK]

20. Phyllis Chesler, Women and Madness (New York: Doubleday, 1972), 16. [BACK]

21. Ibid., 31. [BACK]

22. Quoted in Peter D. Kramer, “How Crazy Was Zelda?” New York Times Magazine, December 1, 1996, 108. [BACK]


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