4. Pauline Astor

Life Dates1904-1988
Place of BirthNew York, NY, USA
Place of DeathPalm Beach, FL, USA
Birth NamePauline Scharf

Pauline H. Scharf was born in New York City into a very large Austro-German, Jewish family. Her parents, Max and Silder Scharf, immigrated to the United States—he in 1899, in advance of the family, to become a tailor and she in 1904—and the couple had at least eight children (Pauline was the first child born in the United States). In 1926, Pauline married Morris Astor, who had established himself as a stock broker, and the couple lived in Great Neck, New York where they raised two daughters, Carol and Nancy.1 Pauline Astor was friendly with fellow Great Neck artists, Dolly Perutz and Doris Seidler, and it is probable they encouraged her to visit Atelier 17.2 According to the student ledger book that Peter and Florence Grippe maintained, Astor was active for approximately a year and a half (late 1952 to May 1954), and purchased a number of plates.3 No exhibition records exist for Astor, although two prints, Contemplation (1953) and South Wind (1953), appear on a list of Atelier 17 prints in the papers of Helen Phillips, Hayter’s second wife.4 It is not known if Astor had artistic inclinations before or after attending Atelier 17 or if these years represent the extent of her creative activity. She passed away in 1998 in Palm Beach, Florida.


  1. Census records are available for the following years: 1910: Brooklyn Ward 19, Kings, New York; Roll: T624_968; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0449; FHL microfilm: 1374981; 1920: Brooklyn Assembly District 4, Kings, New York; Roll: T625_1150; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 240; 1930; Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 1005; FHL microfilm: 2341311; 1940: Russell Gardens, Nassau, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02691; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 30-245. Record of the couple’s marriage license can be found in New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 (Provo, Utah: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014).
  2. David Seidler, who is Doris Seidler’s son, remembers Pauline Astor as an acquaintance of his mothers. Astor’s two daughters were around the same age as David Seidler. Seidler’s memories were conveyed in an email through Susan Stedman, representative of Doris Seidler estate, June 7, 2017.
  3. Student ledger book, p. 5, Allentown Art Museum/Grippe Collection, Allentown, Penn.
  4. Untitled and undated list, Helen Phillips Papers, Paris, France.