Edward Hopper's Pretty Penny (1939) is a joyous, light-filled portrait of the house of the actress Helen Hayes.
Hopper was commissioned to do the painting, but was reluctant to accept at first because he considered it tradesman's work. He eventually relented, creating a work without the darkness and alienation so common in his paintings of American houses. Hayes, who received an honorary doctorate from Smith in 1940, gave the painting to the museum in 1964.
oil on canvas