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The Cover
September 3, 2008

Drug Store

JAMA. 2008;300(9):1000. doi:10.1001/jama.300.9.1000

Behold the corner drugstore! An anachronism, perhaps a fantasy, it represents the vestiges of a simpler time. American painter Edward Hopper (1882-1967) captured his vision of the fleeting past blending into the reality of 1927 in Drug Store (cover).

Drug Store's shadowy background and perimeter cede their mystery to the bright, almost circus-like window of Silbers Pharmacy. Pennants and glass globes shine smartly under the banner of PRESCRIPTIONS DRUGS EX-LAX. Light emanates from the window, illuminating the vacant streetscape. Like the homes and lighthouses Hopper painted, the drugstore stands alone as the main character. There is no need for humans to intrude on Hopper's demonstration of American life of the mid-1920s. Lonely souls permeate Hopper's other paintings and etchings: this drugstore seems just as anchored in its solitude. Hopper's lighthouses have their light, his streets their sun. Is his glowing, almost burning, drugstore a beacon, a lighthouse even, for the health, wealth, and prosperity of 1927?

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