I love John Ur’s Cinematic Road Trip posts for the way that the films help capture a sense of place—so I was struck by a recent piece in the New York Timesrecent piece in the New York Times which laid out a similar road trip, using Edward Hopper’s Cape Cod paintings as a guide. Hopper had a home in Truro, and over the course of 30 years he painted dozens of iconic plein air paintings, often from inside his car. Many of his wide, sun-soaked works were completed at the end of the period in which the heavy tree cover native to the area was cut down to allow settlers to come in. But now the trees grow denser, and so too the developments on the Cape, which causes a continuous struggle between the locals and the vacationing guests. The article both seeks to find places on the Cape which still capture the Hopperesque classic light, and also points out several places from his paintings which still exist.
The Times also has a great series of Then and Now renderings of the paintings alongside contemporary photographs of the lighthouses, church spires, and beach shanties which inspired Hopper. And the Truro Public Library will be showing a collection of works inspired by Hopper all this month.
For more Then and Now glimpses of destinations, visit the gallery available on Traveler’s website.
Painting: Methodist Church, Provincetown (1930) Wadsworth Antheneum Museum of Art, via the NYT
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