Hotels have come a long way since Edward Hopper (1882–1967) and his wife, Jo, struck out on months-long road trips across America and Mexico in the 1940s and 1950s. Behind the wheel of their trusty Buick, the Hoppers became enthusiastic connoisseurs of temporary lodging in mid-century America: the rustic tourist camp, the modest tourist home, the family-friendly motor court, and the big-city hotel with its bright lights and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Together, they demonstrated what the exhibition curators call ponderously “hotel periodical consciousness”—Hopper using his early experience as an illustrator for hotel industry magazines to consider hotels as aesthetic objects and Jo keeping diaries informed by the style and format of dining guides and tourist literature. We can imagine the taciturn Hopper lurking around the property sketching, while the gregarious Jo was chatting with other hotel...


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