During the Summer of 1983, seven artists gathered to plan the first pastel-only exhibition to be held in New Orleans. The purpose of the exhibit was to present to the public, a show of artistic excellence utilizing the pastel medium which, until recently has suffered from public misunderstanding and neglect.

Encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the Premiere Pastel Show held at the International Trade Mart (now the World Trade Center) in November 1983, they decided to organize formally and did so on April 23, 1984.

The Society is aptly named in honor of Edgar Degas, (1834-1917), the artist most widely recognized for transforming pastel from a sketching tool into a major artistic medium. Pastel painting blossomed with his touch and his works have inspired countless artists.

Degas is our champion; his paintings remind us of the beauty, diversity, permanency and exquisite texture for which pastel is known and for which we, as artist, continue to strive.