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Paints from Hirshfield's

Benjamin Moore Historical Colors


The vast majority of colors shown on Benjamin Moore & Co.'s Historical Color Collection cards are from the files of the National Park Service in Philadelphia, PA. These colors were obtained by stripping down through multiple layers of paint and then matching with Munsell designations. Penelope Hartshorne Batcheler, a historical architect with the National Park Service, and a specialist in historic paints, was the pioneer in analyzing and matching these colors. We worked with her associate, Frank Welsh, in 1974 when e was with the Park Service.

The remainder of colors were collected from various historical houses and sites located in different parts of the United States. All parties have assured us that the colors we matched were researched and documented. (Many, by the way, were done by the National Park Service.) These historic locations include:

• Hendrickson House, Holmdel, New Jersey

• Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan

• Shakertown Museum Auburn, Kentucky

• Powell Room, Philadelphia Museum, of Art

• Gallier House, New Orleans, Louisiana

• Bouregard House, New Orleans, Louisiana

• Campbell-Whittlesey House, Rochester, New York

• Bruster-Burke House, Rochester, New York

• Stone Talon House, Rochester, New York

People who are involved in projects where colors must be exactly documented to what the structure was originally painted should seek out specialists like Mrs. Batcheler. This kind of research and documentation is very time consuming and can be expensive.


Some of the early research and documentation of paint colors has been challenged. Recent work at Mount Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg show much cleaner, brighter colors. These, in turn, have also been questioned. Hopefully, some time in the future, the controversy can be settled. Meanwhile, Benjamin Moore & Co. has opted to keep their Historical Collection as is.

more information at Benjamin Moore