[Woman standing at worktable]

Dimensions
12 x 8 7/8 in. (30.5 x 22.5 cm)
Estate/Inventory Number
N 27
Collection
National Gallery of Art, Gift of the Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.56.510. © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko
Remarks
This is likely an image of Edith, Rothko’s wife, at her worktable. In the mid-1930s, Edith Sachar (1912–1981) studied sculpture at the New York School of Arts and Trades with Aaron Goodelman (1890–1978). Rothko painted her practicing the art in three canvases (figs. 1–3), and several of his works on paper depict women sculpting (see Related Works on Paper). The form at the right edge of the current work may well be one of Edith’s early sculptures. She also studied metalwork and jewelry. Later in the decade Rothko produced a small series of sketches (see Related Works on Paper) and still life paintings of what are almost certainly Edith’s tools (figs. 4, 5), which are possibly visible at the left edge of the current watercolor. She taught crafts part-time at the Center Academy of the Brooklyn Jewish Center [James E. B. Breslin, Mark Rothko: A Biography (Chicago and London, 1993), 143], where Rothko taught art two days a week.
1. Mark Rothko, Untitled [Sculptress], 1933/1934, oil on canvas, 39 3/4 x 28 3/4 in., Collection of Kate Rothko Prizel, © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko. [Anfam 53]
2. Mark Rothko, Sculptress, 1933/1934, oil on canvas, 31 3/4 x 21 1/2 in., Collection of Christopher Rothko, © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko. [Anfam 54]
3. Mark Rothko, Untitled (sculptress), 1934/1935, oil on canvas, 32 1/16 x 23 7/8 in., National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko, 1986.43.46. [Anfam 63]
4. Mark Rothko, Untitled (still life with mallet, scissors and two gloves), 1938/1939, oil on gesso board, 2 15/16 x 4 15/16 in., National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko, 1986.56.659. [Anfam 152]
5. Mark Rothko, Untitled (still life with mallet, scissors, and glove), 1938/1939, oil on gesso board, 4 15/16 x 6 15/16 in., National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko, 1986.56.655. [Anfam 153]
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