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A familiar image to most on the North American continent, Edward Hopper’s 1942 “Nighthawks” has become an often-appropriated image of mid-century cool, urban isolation, and architectural elegance. Hopper’s stirring vision of the city that never sleeps caught the mood, energy, and loneliness of New York at a special time in its history. Like many enduring works of Western painting, Hopper’s canvas perfectly captures a snapshot of a society at a point of dramatic change. Caught between the residual effects of the Depression that devastated the United States in the 1930s and the entry of the country into World War II, “Nighthawks” resonates with somber resilience and nocturnal fears. While time and circumstance have turned Hopper’s works into postcard images of wartime and Depression-era America, they are in fact startling representations of the promises of the bright lights of the city, and what happens when these promises are soon found out to be a sordid subjugation of what it means to be human. The luminous glow of the artificial lighting seems to both invite the viewer into the silent diner and propel them from it. A comforting beacon of security in a dark night, the sullen café however does not appear to be a bustling hot-spot or place to find a friend. Instead its occupants sit voicelessly reflecting on the day that has just passed and the day that is soon to dawn. Despite their deep introspection, they seem perfectly attuned to their environment; a new type of urban man and woman, the resilient mid-century American who has weathered the storms of their recent history.