This wonderful two-minute video will take you inside Edward and Jo Hopper’s New York City studio in 1965. Presumably clipped from a documentary of some kind and put on YouTube by L’Atelier des Archives, the black-and-white footage shows the two artists hard at work in their adjoining studios, with Hopper tackling his painting “Chair Car,” which looks almost complete. The sound quality is awful, but you can just make out the narrator attempting to channel the somber mood of Hopper’s art in his voiceover: “The old-fashioned stove between them has been empty and cold for years.” (“He is a painter of truth,” the narrator says later.)
And then the elderly couple — Edward died two years later, Jo within the year that followed — trudge down the front steps and out to Washington Square Park. Bundled in their coats and hats, they sit on a nearly empty bench and read different pages of a single paper shared between them. They belong to their surroundings yet look slightly out of place, like they could be characters themselves in Hopper’s painted world.