Object Image

Junior Milliners

With luscious strokes of pastel, Edgar Degas portrays a hatmaker's (or milliner's) workroom. Two women stand absorbed in creating beautiful objects with the craft of artists. Degas delighted in depicting their materials: coarse straw, velvet ribbons, and fluffy ostrich feathers. The title, Petites Modistes, indicates that the women are junior assistants, no longer apprentices and not yet the lead hat trimmer or the shop owner herself. Degas probably designed this simple gilded frame with a smooth, cream-colored inset panel. Although Degas sketched dozens of frame styles for his artwork, it is rare for any painting or pastel to still have its original frame.

Purchase: acquired through the gener...

Pastel on beige, medium weight, wove paper wrapped onto original cardboard mount
19.2 x 28.2in
Image and text: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023

Where you'll find this

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Permanent collection