Artist’s Table

Media - 1986.6.6 - SAAM-1986.6.6_2 - 135163
Copied Isabel Bishop, Artist's Table, 1931, oil on canvas, 14 5817 12 in. (37.244.5 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1986.6.6

Artwork Details

Artist’s Table
Not on view
14 5817 12 in. (37.244.5 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Still life — art tool
  • Still life — furniture — table
  • Still life — other — container
Object Number

Artwork Description

Bishop’s impeccable draftsmanship brought her recognition in the 1930s as one of the outstanding urban realists of the Fourteenth Street School, a group named for the area where Bishop, Reginald Marsh, Raphael Soyer, and several other artist friends portrayed the local scene. Artist’s Table offers an intimate glimpse of Bishop’s studio; the casual disarray of the painting table and partly opened drawer reveal the private space in which the artist worked.

Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014

Luce Center Label

Isabel Bishop painted a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse of her studio, where old-fashioned glass bottles and muted shades of brown, orange, and gray conjure the rich smells of linseed oil and turpentine. The clutter of bottles and boxes, lit with raking light in a dusky space, evokes Bishop’s more famous figural paintings, which often show crowds of people milling about in lively urban spaces.


Media - 1986.6.100 - SAAM-1986.6.100_2 - 135134
Modern American Realism: Highlights from the Sara Roby Foundation Collection
October 20, 2018November 28, 2018
This exhibition presents some of the most treasured paintings and sculpture from SAAM’s permanent collection, including artworks by Will Barnet, Isabel Bishop, Paul Cadmus, Edward Hopper, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jacob Lawrence, George Tooker, among others.