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Mary Cassatt

Born: Pittsburgh, PA, 25 May 1844
Died: Le Mesnil-Théribus, 14 June 1926
Nationality: American
Background: 

bourgeois, daughter of a banker

Studies: 

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia); with Jean-Léon Gérôme and Charles Chaplin (Paris); with Paul Soyer (Ecouen); with Thomas Couture (Villiers-le-Bel); with Charles Bellay (Rome)

Career: 

1868 – exhibits at Paris Salon (also in 1870, 1872-76)

1874 – settles in Paris

1875 & 1877 – Salon entries are rejected

1879 – exhibits at the Fourth Impressionist Exhibition (also Fifth in 1880, Sixth in 1881 and Eighth/last in 1886)

1889 & 1890 – exhibits at Société des Peintres-Graveurs (Society of Painters and Engravers)

1891 – first solo exhibition at Paul Durand-Ruel’s gallery (Paris)

1892 –commissioned to paint mural Modern Woman for the Woman’s Building at World’s Columbian Exposition (1893, Chicago)

1895 – retrospective exhibition at Durand-Ruel’s galleries in Paris and New York

1904 – awarded Légion d’honneur

Travels

Paris, Ecouen, Villiers-le-Bel, Rome (1866-70); USA (1870-71); Parma, Madrid, Seville, Antwerp, Rome (1871-74)

Important Artworks: 

The Loge, 1882 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC)

The Boating Party, 1893-94 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC)

Mother and Child (The Oval Mirror), c. 1899 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

 Dealer

Paul Durand-Ruel

 

In a letter to her friend and patron, Louisine Havemeyer, Cassatt recalled her first encounter with Degas’s art:

“How well I remember, nearly forty years ago, seeing for the first time Degas’ pastels in the window of a picture dealer on the Boulevard Haussmann. I used to go and flatten my nose against that window and absorb all I could of his art. It changed my life. I saw art then as I wanted to see it.”

Cited in Louisine W. Havemeyer, “Mary Cassatt,” Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum, vol. 23, no. 113 (May 1927): 377.

Web Resources

smarthistory: Cassatt, The Loge

Metmuseum: Cassatt