Western Motel Artist: Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967)


American Paintings and Sculpture

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

Edward Hopper found inspiration in the commonplace of American life. In Western Motel, an anonymous motel bedroom becomes a symbol of the mobility and rootlessness of modern life. The spare furnishings, stark interior, and sharp bands of light produce a composition of masterful simplicity, yet one that is layered with psychological ambiguity. The woman staring across the room does not seem to see us; the pensiveness of her stare and her tense posture accentuate the sense of some impending event. She appears to be waiting: the luggage is packed, the room is devoid of personal objects, the bed is made, and a car is parked outside the window.


Oil on canvas


30 5/8 × 50 1/2 in. (77.8 × 128.3 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 (1882–1967), New York, about 1957 to 1961; bequeathed to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1961
  • American Art: Selections from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2023), 231, 233, no. 112, ill
  • Wendy Drexler, Western Motel (Cincinnati: Turning Point, 2012), Cover page, ill
  • Jane Hedley, Nick Halpern, and Willard Spiegelman, eds., In the Frame: Women's Ekphrastic Poetry from Marianne Moore to Susan Wheeler (Newark, N.J.: University of Delaware Press, 2009), P. 82, Fig. 5, Ill., ill
  • Carter E. Foster, Western Motel: Edward Hopper and Contemporary Art, exh. cat. (Nuremberg: Verlag fu¨r moderne Kunst, 2008), 79,99,119, ill
  • Harriet G. Warkel, Paper to Paint: Edward Hopper's Hotel Lobby (Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 2008), 32, fig. 16
  • Carol L. Troyen et al., Edward Hopper, exh. cat. (Verona, Italy: MFA Publications, 2007), 222, no. 109, 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), 140, 186, 289, 316, 332, fig. 117
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

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


Signed lower left "EDWARD HOPPER"

Technical metadata and APIs


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