Sheldon Museum of Art Main Content

The museum as a library of color


Mary Alice Casto, assistant professor in textiles, merchandising & fashion design, created an assignment prompting students in her color theory studio to use artworks on display at Sheldon as source material.

Closely studying the values, hues, and saturation of color in works of art, as well as how artists use different strategies to organize their compositions with color, students then developed their own tessellated repeat patterns based on an artwork of their choice. Casto could have set the students out into the world to find color combinations and patterns, but felt that artworks at the museum provided better structure—and good models—for students to work with.


See students create tessellated repeat patterns after observing artwork at Sheldon.

A student analyzes colors in Lee Krasner's 1969 canvas Invocation.

The palette used by Norman Rockwell in The County Agricultural Agent (1947–48) captured the attention of a student designer.