Finding Edward Hopper's Nighthawks

Many of us are familiar with American artist Edward Hopper's evocative painting of folks hanging out at a diner in New York City. It has been speculated that the location of this cafe is Multry Square. Jeremiah Moss seeks to solve the mystery of Hopper's diner.

The gas station turns up in photos as late as 1940. Nighthawks is dated 1942. So perhaps the gas station was demolished and replaced with a diner in 1941. The city's taxmen photographed the corner again in 1980. In that photo, there is still no diner and no remnants of it, though the Esso station buildings were still standing there, graffitied and abandoned beneath a painted advertisement for London’s Hard Rock Cafe.

Link - Via Violins and Starships

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Why does everybody have to assume it's a real place? It could be completely from the artist's imagination or it could be a composite, a real diner depicted against a different background. When painting one can make these choices, from something as simple as painting a real scene and leaving out something ugly to iventing the whole scene.

Nobody is every likely to prove this conclusively since the artist never told.
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