View Full Version : Mary Cassatt's Pastel Boxes

09-16-2014, 06:55 PM
Thought you might enjoy this story and the photo. A volunteer at the Shelburne Craft School in Vermont, which has been offering art and craft classes since the 1930s, two years ago discovered some pastel boxes while sorting the school's stored supplies and recognized that they might be important. The Shelburne Museum became involved and ultimately the boxes have ended up at the National Gallery and are currently on display there.

You can see photo here:


09-16-2014, 07:26 PM
Interesting! Thanks for the link!


09-16-2014, 09:09 PM
Oh that is so cool! I was startled at how disorganized they were till I read the article - and found out they'd been through the hands of a ten year old girl first, who'd "played with them and swapped with friends." I thought the range was a little odd and colors a bit jumbled!

I think of the painters I know today and am pretty sure Cassatt would've kept them a bit more organized to hue or value or both!

09-16-2014, 09:58 PM
Interesting story--thanks for posting!

09-16-2014, 10:53 PM
Amazing. Can you imagine how they felt when they discovered the original owner. Went to Portugal recently and visited a museum in Lisbon not really knowing much about what was on display. I was so happy to see one of her paintings, and a Monet and many others. It was also a free day at the museum.
Thanks for sharing this story. Pam:wave:

09-17-2014, 12:02 AM
I have notified my pastel society and I hope to get a group. Either way, I can't wait to go see this!

09-17-2014, 11:35 AM
Thanks, Kate. very interesting.

09-17-2014, 07:04 PM
Great find. Since no one asked I figure I would bring it up...lol does anyone know what brand of pastels she used based on the time period and boxes they are in?

09-18-2014, 11:25 AM
Looking at the photo Jake a number of them, especially those in the boxes look like Giraults - the ones with the wrappers.

Funnily enough, last year I went to a yard sale at the Craft School where these were discovered and bought a bunch of old but mostly unused Giraults. They had packaged up miscellaneous pastels into baggies and were selling them for $5 a bag. After checking out what was available I bought several bags that had numerous Giraults in them.

While the pastels I bought from the school were very similar in size and shape to the current Giraults they came in a cellophane wrappers. I don't how old they are. So Giraults must have been sold at one time with wrappers, which is what makes me think that's what those are in the photo.

09-18-2014, 09:40 PM
I was in class today at the Craft School and learned that most of the pastels in the National Gallery display are Senneliers. However the School still has boxes of Girault and more Senneliers that are being researched.

And the Giraults they still have, which I saw today, are the same as the as the ones I bought there last year, with the cellophane wrappers.