Ethel V. Ashton
Rittenhouse Square, c. mid-1930s
Pastel, 9” x 12”

Promised gift of Dorothy J. del Bueno

Artists generally use pastel in the form of small sticks of pure minerals or powdered pigments compressed with a neutral binder. Ashton was an expert in using pastel to achieve rich, saturated colors and soft, gestural lines. Ashton, who had considered a career in fashion illustration during her early years at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art & Design), paid particular attention to the patterns on women’s dresses as well as the patterns that fill the city, such as the slats on benches and the arrangements of trees in parks.

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