• 1920-379

Pure Color: Pastels from the Cleveland Museum of Art Opens This Sat, 11/19

Pure Color: Pastels from the Cleveland Museum of Art opens this Sat, 11/19 in gallery 101!

This stunning exhibition celebrates pastels made from the second half of the 19th through the early 20th century, a remarkably creative period of richness, diversity, and experimentation in the use of the medium. During this time, works on paper were increasingly valued, collected, and exhibited as works of art in their own right. In response to this trend, the Société des Pastellistes de France was created in 1885 to promote the work of artists working in pastel; the first exhibition dedicated to the medium was held in Paris that same year.

Impressionists Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt were attracted by the spectrum of available colors with which they could capture the transient effects of nature and light—from a windswept field of golden wheat to the blush on a youthful cheek. Post-Impressionists Odilon Redon and Claude-Emile Schuffenecker used the kaleidoscopic range of pastel to communicate their expressive and symbolic responses to the world around them. Modernist artists such as Otto Freundlich and Gino Severini used the medium on their path toward abstraction.

Check out some of the works in this exhibition below, and see them in person beginning this Saturday, 11/19!


Landscape with Figure and Houses, c. 1891. Claude-Emile Schuffenecker (French, 1851–1934). Pastel; 63 x 78.5 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2014.2.


Before the Race, c. 1887–89. Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917). Pastel; 57.5 x 65.4 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Bequest of Leonard C. Hanna Jr. 1958.27.


First Steps, c. 1858–66. Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875). Black chalk and pastel; 29.5 x 45.9 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Thomas H. Jones Sr. 1962.407.


Paris Subway, Ferris Wheel and Eiffel Tower, c. 1912–13. Gino Severini (Italian, 1883–1966). Pastel and charcoal; 59.6 x 48.2 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Malcolm L. McBride 1942.249. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Guest Author

Christopher Moore

The Cleveland Museum of Art

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