Tony’s House (1926)

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Tony’s House (1926). Watercolor on paper. Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Of all the Hopper houses still standing in Gloucester, the former abode of Tony, in “The Fort” section of Gloucester’s harbor, bears the least resemblance to the image so long ago preserved in watercolor. What remains: those upward steps; that stone wall, still extending out leftward, behind a new row of low shrubbery; the front door, now partially obscured by the wooden slats of a tacked-on deck; that chimney, still where it stood; and those jutting windows to the right of the front door, admittedly transformed by a dark-shingled look that replaced the white clapboard (for some reason) — but, jutting windows just the same.

Alas, the ghost of Tony himself, wandering home drunk from the nearest tavern, would be hard-pressed to find his old haunt, given all the changes the cold years have wrought. (“There used to be a point to that house!” he might spookily shout out, on a windy night, after too much Porter.) But, Tony’s House it still is… and so it shall remain.

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