Ethel V. Ashton, Self Portrait
The artist Dan Miller (born 1928) was a student and a faculty member at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts during the time Ashton served as its librarian. They were close friends, and Miller commented on this self-portrait:
Strangely enough, I recognize the Ethel I knew in this portrait, the most abstract of the three [self-portraits in this exhibition]. Not from the others. Her facial structure is captured in a clear, simple way. It's as simple as it is extremely introverted, as if she's meditating. I like the strange dichotomy between that dreamlike quality of her face and the vibrant, linear environment of paintings or whatever behind her. There's a lot of drawing in it, and I like that about it.