The Childhood Works of 7 Famous Artists, from Paul Klee to Georgia O’Keeffe

Hopper, born to a middle-class family in Nyack, New York, began drawing at age five. His parents offered nothing but encouragement, gifting him a blackboard at seven and instructional drawing books at 10. (Presciently, he labeled his childhood paint box with the phrase “WOULD-BE ARTIST.”) This pen-and-ink drawing was discovered on the back of Hopper’s third grade report card, dated October 23, 1891. Like the young boy in his sketch, Hopper spent much of his young life by the water—his childhood room overlooked the Hudson River, and he would often prowl its banks with a sketchbook in hand to capture the construction and rigging of the boats docked there.

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