Last week, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) acquired Edward Hopper's "Intermission," one of Hopper's final works, painted only four years before his death.
The famous oil painting is 40 by 60 inches and features a lone woman sitting it a deserted theater. The piece also showcases both the artist's geometric style and his fascination with isolation in the American experience.
According to the Examiner, the painting was acquired from San Francisco's Fraenkel Gallery in part with funds from the Schwab and Fischer families -- both enormous donors to the museum.
As part of the acquisition, the museum also bid farewell to a previous, less significant piece by Hopper. In an email SFMOMA PR Manager Robyn Wise explained the decision to the Bay Citizen:
The decision to deaccession a work in the collection is always a measured, careful one. SFMOMA sometimes chooses to refine and strengthen the collection through the prudent practice of deaccessioning. On some occasions, the collection can be strengthened by deaccessioning an artwork and acquiring a different example by the same artist or from the same historical art movement. That was the case with the Hopper.
In line with museum policy, Wise did not reveal the price of "Intermission." But according to the San Francisco Chronicle, a similar Hopper painting, "Hotel Window," was purchased for $26.9 million at a 2006 auction.
Hopper was an American painter whose works defined domestic realism. He became especially famous for his 1942 painting, "Nighthawks," an oil painting that fetaures customers sitting at a late-night diner lighting up a dark empty street.
"Intermission" is the latest acquisition by SFMOMA, which consistently features one of the most impressive collections of modern art in the nation. It was the first museum on the West Coast to feature modern and contemporary art when it opened 77 years ago.
Check out a few recent greatest hits at SFMOMA in our slideshow below:
Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988; 42 in. x 70 1/2 in. x 32 1/2 in.; porcelain; Collection SFMOMA; purchased through the Marian and Bernard Messenger Fund and restricted funds; © Jeff Koons
Roy Lichtenstein, Live Ammo ("Tzing"), 1962; oil on canvas; 68 x 56 inches; The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at SFMOMA; © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Andy Warhol, A Set of Six Self-Portraits, 1967; oil and silkscreen ink; Collection SFMOMA, gift of Michael D. Abrams; © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights
Henri Matisse, Femme au chapeau, 1905; Collection SFMOMA, bequest of Elise S. Haas; © Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Wayne Thiebaud, Display Cakes, 1963; 28 in. x 38 in.; oil on canvas; Collection SFMOMA; Mrs. Manfred Bransten Special Fund purchase; © Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA, New York
Olafur Eliasson, Multiple Grotto, 2004; Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Olafur Eliasson
Bill Viola, Passage, 1987; 144 in. x 720 in. x 192 in.; single-channel video installation with stereo sound; Collection SFMOMA; Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Fisher, Susan and Robert Green, Pam and Dick Kramlich, and Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Walker, Jr.; © Bill Viola