Louis Shadwick

PhD student

Thesis: The Formative Years of Edward Hopper, 1882-1929

Supervised by David Peters Corbett

Funded by AHRC/CHASE

My thesis examines the formative years and early works of Edward Hopper (1882-1967). I am particularly interested in how historical conceptions of American identity have informed both the creation and the reception of Hopper’s art, from the artist’s childhood through to his gradual recognition in the 1920s. By revealing the origins of many of Hopper’s uncharacteristic early works and accounting for their often-surprising array of styles and themes, I seek to illuminate the artist’s innate absorption of American cultural politics around the turn of the twentieth century. This relation of Hopper’s works to their broader social history will underpin an interrogation of the development and cultivation of Hopper’s Americanist persona, challenging notions of Hopper’s quintessential ‘Americanness’ and deconstructing the implications of such rhetoric in relation to the artist’s canonical reputation.


  • PhD, The Courtauld Institute of Art, (2018 – present)
  • MA History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Distinction, (2011 – 2012). (Special Option: ‘Art, Artists and 20th Century Modernism in Europe: Works, Contexts, Meanings’, taught by Professor Christopher Green.) Dissertation: “On Reflection: Lucian Freud’s Self-Portraits”.
  • BA History of Art, University of Bristol, First Class Honours, (2008 – 2011)

Research Interests

  • Edward Hopper
  • American painting c.1850 – 1960
  • American Studies
  • Realism
  • Nationalism
  • Regionalism

Awards & Grants

  • 2020-22, Terra Foundation For American Art Academic Program Grant, Conference,  American Art and the Political Imagination (forthcoming, March 2022)
  • 2019, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Travel Grant
  • 2019, SAVAnT @ CHASE Research Travel Awards Shortlist Prize
  • 2018, AHRC-funded CHASE Doctoral Studentship (2018-21)
  • 2011, Dissertation Award, University of Bristol: “The Window and the Void in the work of Edward Hopper”


  • Paper, “Edward Hopper in the 1940s”, 1940s in FocusAmerican Art in the Decade of Transition, The Courtauld Institute of Art (forthcoming, June 2021)
  • Paper, “The True Story of Edward Hopper’s First Oil Paintings,” Third Year PhD Symposium, The Courtauld Institute of Art (forthcoming, June 2021)
  • Chair, Third Year PhD Symposium, 8 October 2020
  • Paper, “An American Doppelganger: Edward Hopper’s Captain Ed Staples,” Dialogues: Modern and Contemporary Approaches to Politics and Place, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 5 May 2020

Teaching & University Roles

  • 2021: Teaching Assistant, Foundations (Modern and Contemporary Art) (BA1), The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2021: ‘Edward Hopper,’ MA Seminar (New York-London-Paris 1880-1940), The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2020-2021: PhD Representative, The Courtauld Institute of Art


  • Studio Assistant, Danny Lane Sculpture (2016-17)
  • Account Manager, Albany Arts Communications (2016)
  • Account Manager, Theresa Simon & Partners (2014-15)
  • Musician & Songwriter (2014-present)
  • Communications Officer, Blain Southern Gallery (2013-14)
  • Press Officer, London 2012 Cultural Olympiad (2012)
  • Junior Associate, Bolton & Quinn (2011-12)
  • Intern, Bolton & Quinn (2010)
  • Intern, Victoria & Albert Museum (2008)

Articles & Publications

  • The origins of Edward Hopper’s earliest oil paintings,” The Burlington Magazine (October 2020)
  • Letter, “Edward Hopper’s A Pair of Slippers,” The Burlington Magazine (November 2020)
  • Review, The Art Newspaper, Feb. 2019, Lucian Freud, ed. Mark Holborn/David Dawson
  • Editor, Damien Hirst: The Visual Candy Paintings, Blain Southern, 2013
  • Editor, Marius Bercea, Blain Southern, 2013
  • Editor, Lectori Salutem, Blain Southern, 2013