The World’s Most Expensive Chop Suey

On Tuesday, Edward Hopper’s painting Chop Suey sold at auction for $91.9 million. As with most things in the art world, there’s more to the story than just money.


ABOVE: Edward Hopper, Chop Suey, 1929, oil on canvas, 32 x 38 inches

First, here is a quick timeline of the painting:

  • Edward Hopper paints Chop Suey in 1929
  • Businessman Barney Ebsworth purchases it for $180,000 in 1973
  • Ebsworth promises it to the Seattle Art Museum in 2007
  • He passes away in April, 2018
  • The painting, along with 65 other promised works, goes up for sale at Christie’s
  • Chop Suey sells for $91.9 million on November 13, 2018

To date, no one has gone on record to state why things went down the way they did. Did Ebsworth have a falling out with the museum before he died? Does his family need the money? We may never know. Sadly, the painting (and others from the collection) may now disappear into a private collection.