Josephine Nivison was a teacher, artist and actress. In 1923, at the age of 41, she married the painter Edward Hopper. He was 42. They lived in a small studio apartment near Washington Square in New York and as they led a somewhat hermetic existence, they were often with each other 24/7. She was the only female model he used, including for the painting above.
But their’s was anything but an idyllic marriage. In her diaries she described scratching him and biting him “to the bone.” He, on the other hand, “cuffed” her, slapped her face and banged her head on the wall. A friend of the couple said that every time he visited them they seemed on the verge of divorce. But they stayed together for 43 years, until his death in 1967.
After his death, she bequeathed all of his remaining work, more than 3,000 pieces, as well as her own, to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Here are a few of Hopper’s works from the Whitney Collection.