We’re excited to announce that an anonymous donor has promised two major prewar American paintings to the Whitney’s collection: Edward Hopper’s 1932 painting City Roofs and Childe Hassam’s Allied Flags, April 1917, also known as Allied Flags, Union League Club (1917).
City Roofs depicts the rooftop of Hopper’s studio at 3 Washington Square North in Greenwich Village. Hopper was frequently inspired by the two locations in which he spent most of his time: downtown New York, where he lived and worked in the same rented apartment from 1913 until his death in 1967, and Cape Cod, where, beginning in 1934, he maintained a home and studio. Although Hopper made many works that revisit favorite sites and motifs, he completed only one painting of the roof of his New York home.
Hassam was a pioneer of American Impressionism. The most well-known practitioner of this French-invented painting style, he was also one of the only American Impressionists to depict the home front during WWI. From 1916 until 1919, Hassam produced a series of flag paintings, approximately thirty works representing Fifth Avenue and adjacent streets decorated with patriotic banners. Allied Flags, April 1917 is the first painting by Hassam to enter the Whitney’s collection.