[Woman seated at table, two studies]

Medium
Support
Dimensions
12 x 8 1/2 in. (30.5 x 21.6 cm)
Estate/Inventory Number
H 9.16
Collection
National Gallery of Art, Gift of the Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.56.439. © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko
Remarks
These sketches of a woman, probably Rothko’s wife Edith Sachar (1912–1981), depict her sitting at a table and holding what appears to be a small hammer. In the mid-1930s, Edith studied metalwork and jewelry. These drawings, and a closely related study, likely picture Edith practicing her craft; all relate to a watercolor of Edith at her worktable. Late in the 1930s 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. 1, 2), including what appears to be a ball-peen hammer similar to the one shown in these drawings. Edith 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 (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]
2. 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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