concept: chief jim hopper anxiously sitting in a school hallway along with other parents waiting to go in and meet one of eleven’s teachers and discuss how she’s doing in school so far and ask questions like if she’s fitting in alright with the other kids and if she’s doing well with her homework and if she likes science class as much as mike, dustin, lucas, and will
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.
Big spoilers ahead for Stranger Things and Twin Peaks.
Stranger Things is rife with nostalgic pop-culture references, but here’s one that struck me immediately that I haven’t seen commented on anywhere else: the discovery of Will Byers’ “body” in Stranger Things’ third episode, “Holly, Jolly”, is shot almost identically to the discovery of Maddy Ferguson’s body in Twin Peaks, “Drive With a Dead Girl”. The central law enforcement figures of both series exit their cars, sirens blazing, and are shot in a tracking closeup facing the camera as they approach a lakeside, where a body is being brought to the surface. It’s that final slice of context (discovery of a body by a lakeside) that makes me think this is more than coincidence.
Jim Hopper’s second Father’s Day without Sarah is the hardest. The first is spent in the whirlwind of divorce proceedings, the official end of his deteriorated marriage. The second is spent alone with a bottle of booze and bad memories.
Parked on the couch in his tiny trailer, Hopper shuffles through old cards, signed in his daughter’s tiny and messy scrawl with messages of love. His lip quivering, Jim picks up the most recent card and presses it between his fingers, ready to tear it apart. Maybe his memories will fade faster if he erases the things that make him remember. Making the smallest tear in the paper, Jim breaks. He can’t do it, he won’t. He spends the evening as he’ll spend every Father’s Day evening for the next seven years, working his way to the bottom of his bottle.
That changes when he wakes up on his first Father’s Day in the Byers’s house to the sound of clamour from the living room and the smell of bacon from the kitchen. Jim’s eyes open and he smiles at the ceiling contentedly. He’s taking the boys fishing today; his boys. That evening, after a day in the sun, Jim feels the furthest away from lonely that he’s felt in a long time, parked on the sofa again, but this time surrounded by Will, Jonathan, and Joyce as they watch a movie and toss popcorn at one another.