Sunlight in a Cafeteria Artist: Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967)


American Paintings and Sculpture

On view, 3rd floor, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design

From the time he was a young man, Edward Hopper was intrigued by people in urban restaurants, where strangers had little interaction. Sunlight in a Cafeteria captures an unsettling tension between the man and woman who are clearly aware of, but do not acknowledge, each other’s presence. This edgy stillness suggests the closed lines of communication in much of modern urban life. As in so many of Hopper’s paintings, the ambiguity in the scene opens up multiple narrative possibilities.


Oil on canvas


40 3/16 × 60 1/8 in. (102.1 × 152.7 cm)

Credit Line

Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Stephen Carlton Clark, b.a. 1903, about 1958 to 1961; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • Lisa R. Brody et al., "To Varnish or Not to Varnish?," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2010), 124–25, fig. 3–5
  • Patricia Junker, Edward Hopper Women, exh. cat. (Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2008), 30-31, fig. 6
  • Nicholas Fox Weber, The Clarks of Cooperstown: Their Singer Sewing Machine Fortune, Their Great and Influential Art Collections, Their Forty-Year Feud (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), ill
  • Michael Conforti et al., The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings, exh. cat. (Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2006), 186, 282, 287–88, 316, 332, ill. p. 282, fig. 211
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

genre (visual works), human figures (visual works), interior architecture


Signed lower right "EDWARD HOPPER"

Technical metadata and APIs


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