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Betty Draper as a living Edward Hopper painting

Photo: AMC

Betty Draper was never the easiest character to like on Mad Men. Lord knows we had our issues with her. January Jones’ performance took a while to crystallize, and the framing of her repression at the hands of Don was difficult to penetrate in the early going. Truly, it was her decision to leave Don at his most vulnerable in season three that allowed the character to breathe and unfurl in some striking ways. Regardless of how you feel about any particular of the performance, though, the totality of her journey resonates as rich and really kind of tragic.

As a tribute to both the character and Mad Men’s sumptuous visual palette, the excellent Twitter account TabloidArtHistory has paired shots of Betty with the paintings of realist painter Edward Hopper. Considering Hopper often painted his subjects in moments of boredom, melancholy, and resignation, his work makes a fine pairing with the existential malaise that was Betty Draper.


Hopper’s work was also distinctly American, a distinction that could also be applied to Mad Men. TabloidArtHistory agrees, capping off this “collection” with the declaration that the show is “THE Great American Novel™.” Hopefully this means we can look forward to another thread pairing with Peggy and Mary Cassatt.


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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.