Smithsonian Magazine reports that the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA is preparing a special exhibition centering on a three-dimensional recreation of Edward Hopper’s painting Western Motel from 1957. It will be in the form of a makeshift motel. As the Museum’s press release points out, the exhibition will feature “more than 60 Hopper paintings, drawings, watercolors, and illustrations, as well as selected postcards and diaries written by his wife, fellow artist Josephine.”
For its part, LA Times reports that the tickets for the overnight experience (on sale from August 27, 2019)“will range in price from $150 to $500 and include such amenities as dinner, curator-guided tours, and an exhibition catalog.” The museum also promised to provide more details later in August “regarding the room, which will be available for bookings on select Friday, Saturday and Monday evenings on 50 different dates between October 26 and February 23, 2020.”
As the museum’s curator, Leo G. Mazow said, “Western Motel is one of [Hopper’s] best known and most studied paintings. We thought it’d be fun and enlightening for people to experience what it was like to be in these spaces, which Hopper stayed in so often and painted so frequently.”
Actually, this will be the first such exhibition that explores Hopper’s “depictions of hotels, motels, and other transient travel dwellings.” As Smithsonian adds, in addition to spotlighting Western Motel, Edward Hopper and the American Hotel will highlight House at Dusk, a 1935 painting acquired by the VMFA in 1953; borrowed items including Hotel Lobby, a 1943 work owned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields (where the exhibition will travel following its Virginia run); and personal writings detailing the Hoppers’ extended road trips throughout the U.S. and Mexico. The show will also include 35 similarly hospitality-centric works by American artists such as John Singer Sargent, Edward Ruscha, and Cindy Sherman.