House by the Railroad (1925) By American Realist Painter Edward Hopper is the first painting that was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, in 1930. If this house looks familar to you, it may because it is said to have inspired the look of the Bates house in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho. So, there’s that.
Curator, Ann Temkin offers her insight about the painting:
House by the Railroad is very much a portrait of a house. And I think the loneliness of the house is what really comes through in the painting. You would think that there would be some kind of activity, perhaps, on this bright, sunny day. And yet there is this stillness that pervades the canvas. Some people have speculated that the railroad tracks in front of the house imply movement. And of course, there is no train. But the implication of movement in those tracks makes you all the more aware of the absolute lack of movement in this picture.
I really love this painting, which is displayed adjacent to Andrew Wyeth’s famous work, Christina’s World, at MOMA.