Tables for Ladies

Artist: Edward Hopper (American, Nyack, New York 1882–1967 New York)

Date: 1930

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 48 1/4 x 60 1/4 in. (122.6 x 153 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: George A. Hearn Fund, 1931

Accession Number: 31.62


In Hopper’s Tables for Ladies, a 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. Though they appear weary and detached, these two women hold posts newly available to female city dwellers outside the home. The painting’s title alludes to a recent social innovation in which establishments advertised "tables for ladies" in order to welcome their newly mobile female customers, who, if seen dining alone in public previously, were assumed to be prostitutes.