Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2008

Department 1


Department 2

Interdisciplinary Studies


Alison Rector’s painting Green Kitchen (2002) depicts a seemingly ordinary domestic interior: a flight of stairs ascends to the right, and a foyer, furnished simply with a wooden table and chairs, leads to a kitchen and, further still, to a broom closet. The old-fashioned wood-burning stove, muted and patterned wallpaper, antiqued furniture, brass sconce, and wide-planked hardwood floor characterize this home as possibly from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, but the lack of figures and personal effects makes the definitive time of occupancy ambiguous. Rector’s unoccupied interiors, however, do not appear abandoned. Even in the quietest of her closed spaces, the viewer perceives a presence, perhaps of the non-depicted occupant. [excerpt]

Required Publisher's Statement

Used with permission from The Gettysburg Review