In the Summerhouse

George Tooker, In the Summerhouse, 1958, egg tempera on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1986.6.100
Copied George Tooker, In the Summerhouse, 1958, egg tempera on fiberboard, 2424 in. (61.061.8 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1986.6.100

Artwork Details

Title
In the Summerhouse
Date
1958
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
2424 in. (61.061.8 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation
Mediums
Mediums Description
egg tempera on fiberboard
Classifications
Keywords
  • Landscape — time — night
  • Figure group — female
  • Architecture — other — gazebo
  • Object — other — lantern
Object Number
1986.6.100

Artwork Description

Like his friends Paul Cadmus and Bernard Perlin, Tooker painted in egg tempura. In the Summerhouse shows two young women surrounded by a lattice framework. The Japanese lanterns they hold cast a warm light on their arms and faces. The nocturnal scene is gentle, the serene enclosure a refuge from the night.


Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014
Luce Center Label

In the Summerhouse was inspired by George Tooker’s memories of family celebrations on the Fourth of July. In the evening, all of the children were given bright Japanese lanterns to hang around the garden, and Tooker described the effect as “very magical.” Here, the geometric shapes in the wooden trellis contrast with the soft curves of the paper lights and the figures. The subdued light and warm colors create an intimate, dreamlike scene, as the figures choose where to place their glowing lanterns. (Garver, George Tooker, 1985)

Exhibitions

Media - 1986.6.100 - SAAM-1986.6.100_2 - 135134
Modern American Realism: Highlights from the Sara Roby Foundation Collection
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.