Masterpiece Stories

Edward Hopper, Tables for Ladies

Zuzanna Stańska 3 December 2017 min Read

Edward Hopper painted “Tables for Ladies” in 1930 and it showed a sad little restaurant with a sad cashier and a sadder looking waitress. Actually, like in many other Hopper’s painting, everything is sad there. The waitress leans forward to adjust the vividly painted foods at the window as a couple sits quietly in the richly paneled and well-lit interior. A cashier attentively tends to business at her register.

Edward Hopper Tables for Ladies
Edward Hopper, Tables for Ladies, 1930, Metropolitan Museum of Art, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

But there is something more than pure sadness into this story. In 1930’s a restaurant with a sign that said “tables for ladies” welcomed single women diners who were finding their new found independence. Up until that point in history, it was the assumption that any woman who was sitting alone in a restaurant was a prostitute.

 

Recommended

John Singer Sargent, Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, 1892, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, UK. Detail. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent

Lady Agnew of Lochnaw is a masterpiece by John Singer Sargent. It portrays a Victorian woman in a bold, modern manner. Sargent combined masterful...

James W Singer 5 December 2022

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, 1647-1652, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Roma, Italia. Masterpiece Stories

Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Gian Lorenzo Bernini: Divine Bliss or Pure Erotic Pleasure?

Among the works of the famous sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), the sculptural group called Ecstasy of Saint Teresa remains...

Montaine Dumont 7 December 2022

William Blake The Ancient of Days, from Europe A Prophecy, 1794, watercolor etching, The British Museum, London, UK. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The Ancient of Days by William Blake

The Ancient of Days, designed, printed, and hand colored by William Blake, was the frontispiece of his 1794 poem Europe a Prophecy. An epic...

Catriona Miller 28 November 2022

Sir Edwin Landseer, Monarch of the Glen, ca 1851, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, UK. Detail. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Monarch of the Glen by Edwin Landseer

Monarch of the Glen by Edwin Landseer is one of the most famous British paintings of the 19th century. It is a Victorian melodrama at its most...

James W Singer 21 November 2022