For the surface reflectance of an object to be a useful cue to object identity, judgments of its color should remain stable across changes in the object's environment. In 2D scenes, there is general consensus that color judgments are much more stable across illumination changes than background changes. Here we investigate whether these findings generalize to real 3D objects. Observers made color matches to cubes as we independently varied both the illumination impinging on the cube and the 3D background of the cube. As in 2D scenes, we found relatively high but imperfect stability of color judgments under an illuminant shift. In contrast to 2D scenes, we found that background had little effect on average color judgments. In addition, variability of color judgments was increased by an illuminant shift and decreased by embedding the cube within a background. Taken together, these results suggest that in real 3D scenes with ample cues to object segregation, the addition of a background may improve stability of color identification.