Edward Hopper Etching Hits High Mark for Print Sale Online

The work is one of about 50 etchings by Hopper, and has rarely appeared at auction.

Edward Hopper, The Railroad, (1922)
Image: artnet Auctions

The $96,000 sale of Edward Hopper’s etching The Railroad, set a new online record for an etching by the artist when it sold on February 18 as part of the”Modern Masters” online auction at artnet Auctions (a division of Artnet Worldwide Corporation of which artnet News is also a division).

The Railroad, which came to artnet Auctions from the collection of John P. McGarry Jr., is one of about 50 prints Hopper produced during his early-20th-century career. It last appeared at auction in 2004, selling for $30,000 at Sotheby’s New York, according to the artnet Price Database. The selling price this time around fell squarely within the estimated range of $90,000–110,000.

Hopper is perhaps known better for his paintings than his etchings, for which he has had even greater success on the auction block. The last record sale of a Hopper painting occurred in 2005 at Christie’s New York, when East Wind Over Weehawken sold for over $40 million.

<i>The Railroad</i> in a gold frame.<br>Image: artnet Auctions</br>

The Railroad in a gold frame.
Photo: courtesy artnet Auctions

The recently-sold black and white etching measures 7.75 by 9.9 inches, and depicts a solitary man standing to the side of railroad tracks, which wind through a hilly landscape. In the background are power lines and chimney-adorned homes. While the print itself is rare, only a few examples ever having come to auction, the subject matter is typical of the American Realist artist, who was fascinated with scenes of everyday American life.

Prints by Hopper are an important part of McGarry’s collection of British and American prints produced during the years between the World Wars. Works owned by McGaryy by Hopper, George Bellows, Cyril Power, and other artists are currently on view in the artnet offices in conjunction with the sale.

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