Sep 8, 2022 - News

Des Moines Art Center says au revoir to iconic painting

Automat
Automat, 1927; Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; purchased with funds from the Edmundson Art Foundation, Inc. 1958.2. Photo courtesy of Des Moines Art Center

Edward Hopper's "Automat" is one of the most iconic pieces hanging up at the Des Moines Art Center and very rarely is it loaned out.

Yes, but: Des Moines will say goodbye to it from late September until at least March 2023.

State of play: "Automat" is one of Hopper's most important paintings and the Art Center receives several loan requests for it every year.

  • Most of the requests are denied. But in this rare instance, officials agreed to loan it to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York for their upcoming Edward Hopper exhibition.

What's next: A new Margaret Bourke-White photograph will take Automat's place for the time being, as well as the lesser-known Hopper piece "The Forked Road," which is not often displayed because of its fragility.

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