This sketch of a woman, probably Rothko’s wife Edith Sachar (1912–1981), depicts her seated at a table. In the mid-1930s, Edith studied metalwork and jewelry. This drawing, and a closely related sheet of studies, 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). 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.
Mark Rothko: Works on Paper will ultimately document approximately 2,600 works from public and private collections worldwide. Cataloging is ongoing, and works and information will be added to the site during the coming years.