Mary Cassatt American 1844-1926
was born in 1844 in Pennsylvania,
USA as the daughter of a wealthy merchant. At the age of seven
her family left for Paris in France. After a few years of
life in Paris, the family went back to the USA. Impressed
by all the art she had seen in Europe, she surprised her parents
by the wish to become an artist. Becoming an artist in the
19th century was as difficult for a woman as becoming a doctor.
Society then had a different understanding of the role of
Finally Mary won and her parents allowed her to visit the
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1866 she went back
to Paris. She copied the old masters in the Louvre and other
museums. The young woman artist had acquired pretty good skills
in traditional art style and in 1874 a Mary Cassatt painting
was even accepted by the judges of the Salon. In 1877 she
made the acquaintance of Degas, with whom she was to be on
close terms throughout his life. His art and ideas had a considerable
influence on her own work; he introduced her to the Impressionists
and she participated in the exhibitions of 1879, 1880, 1881
and 1886, refusing to do so in 1882 when Degas did not. Degas
was refused by the Salon and along with a group of Impressionists
who were refused by the Salon they established their own show,
the Salon des Refuses. Edgar Degas introduced her to his friends
Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and other Impressionist
art historians think Mary Cassatt was also Dega's mistress.
This is however rather questionable as Degas was considered
a convinced misogynist. Under the influence of Edgar Degas
and the other Impressionists the artist Mary Cassatt changed
her painting style. She used light colors and began to paint
people. Mary Cassatt's favorite subjects became children and
women with children in ordinary scenes. Her paintings express
a deep tenderness and her own love for children. But she never
had children of her own.
The artist's artistic breakthrough came in 1892, when she
received a commission for a mural for the Woman's Building
at the Chicago World's Fair. The mural painting got lost after
the fair and has not shown up until today.
Mary Cassatt influenced Impressionism not only as an artist.
She also had an important role in sponsoring and in financial
promotion of Impressionist art. She often bought paintings
of her friends when they were short of cash. And with her
connections to rich American families, she encouraged many
of her countrymen to buy Impressionist art. Quite a few of
the great Impressionist art collections in the USA were established
as a result of her activities. The collection of 19th century
French paintings of the Havemeyers was largely mediated by
her. The collection is now in the New York Metropolitan Museum
The artist Mary Cassatt would have made a poor career as a
diplomat. She never held back with her opinion. Fortunately
her wealth made her independent from what others thought about
her. Especially when she grew older, her frankness could sometimes
become insulting. She did not like the modern artists like
Henri Matisse or Pablo Picasso and spoke of "dreadful
paintings". Even her Impressionist colleagues were whacked.
For Claude Monet's late works his famous water-lily
paintings she found the words "glorified wallpaper".
When she died in 1926 at the age of 82 she was blind.
see Women Artists)
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Cassatt (Chaucer Library of Art S.) by Griselda Pollock Hardcover:
128 pages Chaucer Press (June 30, 2005)
Born into the male dominated world of the nineteenth century,
middle-class Pennsylvania society, Mary Cassatt became a feminist
and turned what was a lady's accomplishment into a profession
becoming a radical painter, working in Paris and exhibiting
with the Impressionists. Degas, Manet, Gauguin and Pissaro,
amongst others, knew and admired her work, and yet, since her
death in 1926, Cassatt has received little critical acclaim,
and her importance, both personally as an individual artist
and historically within the evolution of the Impressionist movement,
has largely been obscured. The efforts of the feminist movement
in the last decade, however, have stimulated long-deserved public
and critical interest in Mary Cassatt. Griselda Pollock examines
the reasons for the unjust neglect of one of America's outstanding
artistic talents. She gauges the wide variety of influences
which shaped her career, from her commitment to her early oils
and pastels and her study of the techniques of the Old Masters,
her exploration of modernist ideas to her later interest in
the methods of Japanese print-making. Despite the tremendous
diversity of her sources, Cassatt pursued one themethe depiction
of women in all phases of their livesdefending the portrayal
of maternity and womanhood from the charges of sentimentality.
Pollock argues that through her oeuvre, Cassatt, a woman painting
women, reworked with increasing power and insight the traditional
iconography of woman as Madonna, as Venus and as Eve, questioning
its basic assumptions and transforming women from objects to
be looked at to people to be understood.
The Graphic Art Of Mary Cassatt by Adelyn D. Breeskin Hardcover
The Museum of Graphic Art (1967)
Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman Paperback:
176 pages Plume; Reprint edition (October 29, 2002)
As you read Chessman's second novel (after Ohio Angels), be
prepared for an insightful and moving tale about a great American
painter and her family. Here is the poignant story of Lydia,
Mary Cassatt's sister, who details the important role she played
in the creation of Cassatt's early Impressionist paintings.
Each chapter centers on a painting by Mary that involves Lydia,
and the narrative offers wonderful insight into Cassatt's bold
life and her relationships with artists such as Renoir, Caillebotte,
and especially Degas. Though Lydia is fighting a horrible battle
against Bright's disease, she continues to pose for her sister
and to live her life with courage and dignity. Copyright
2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Mary Cassatt (Treasures of Art) by Trewin Copplestone
Hardcover, 80 pages (September 1998) Grammercy
The world's most famous artists are highlighted in these concise
and vibrantly colorful volumes. Each book in the series contains
80 pages of full-color reproductions along with authoritative
text about the featured artist. A perfect souvenir for museum
visits and a special gift for all art lovers.
Mary Cassatt: A Life by Nancy Mowell Mathews
Paperback, 383 pages Reprint edition (October 1998) Yale Univ
Cassatt is known as the painter of mothers and children and
as one of the few women Impressionists. Mathews, a renowned
Cassatt expert, illuminates facets of the painter's life that
have never before been articulated.
Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives by Debra
N. Mancoff Hardcover, 96 pages (September 1998) Stewart
Tabori & Chang
Via paintings, prints, and pastels created by Mary Cassatt throughout
her career, this book explores the main facets of feminine lifesolitary,
social, public, and intimateand offers an intriguing look
into the world of women in the late 19th century. 50 color photos.
10 archival prints.
Cassatt: A Retrospective by Mary Cassatt, Nancy Mowell
Mathews (Editor) Hardcover (October 1996) Levin Associates
In an era when few American women pursued careers outside of
marriage and motherhood, Mary Cassatt's ambition and professional
independence were noteworthy. Her paintings of mothers and children
are known the world over for their honest sensitivity. 120 full-color
plates. 110 b&w illustrations.
Mary Cassatt: The Color Prints by Nancy M. Mathews, Barbara Stern Shapiro
Paperback, Reprint Edition, Harry N Abrams (Pap), 1992
Mary Cassatt: The Color Prints by Nancy Mowell Mathews, Barbara
Stern Sharpiro Hardcover, 207 pages, Published
by Harry N Abrams, 1989
Leading Cassatt expert Mathews ( Mary Cassatt, LJ 6/15/87) continues
her exemplary scholarship in conjunction with Shapiro, a specialist
in prints and also a writer on Cassatt. Cassatt was trained
as a painter, but here the authors explore her work as a printmaker
possessing a virtuosity unmatched by that of her Impressionist
contemporaries, who were influenced by her print oeuvre . In
the prints Mathews finds confirmation of the thesis that Cassatt
passed from Impressionism to "a quieter, more classic art."
Boasting the completeness of a catalogue raisonne, this sumptuous
work surely will remain the leading resource for decades to
come. Highly recommended. Mary Hamel-Schwulst, Towson
State Univ., Md. Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Mary Cassatt: An American in Paris (A First Book) by Philip Brooks
School & Library Binding, 63 pages, Franklin Watts, 1995
Mary Cassatt Oils and Pastels by E. John Bullard Reissue Edition,
Paperback, Watson-Guptill, 1984
Mary Cassatt: Graphic Art by Adelyn Dohme Breeskin Unknown Binding:
27 pages Smithsonian Institution Press (1981)
Published for Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
Mary Cassatt: Paintings and Prints by Frank Getlein
Paperback, 3 pages (November 1980) Abbeville Press, Inc.
of American Impressionism: Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, John H.
Twatchman [and] J. Alden Weir by Brooklyn Museum Unknown
Binding: 43 pages Publisher: Arno Press (1974)
Art in a Mirror: The Counterproofs of Mary Cassatt by Warren Adleson
Paperback: 96 pages Adelson Gallery (January 25, 2007)
The counterproofs in this book, which are literally mirror images
of her pastels, were produced by taking an impression of that
original on a second sheet of paper.
Children of the Gilded Era: Portraits of Sargent, Renoir, Cassatt and Their Contemporaries
by Barbara Dayer Gallati Hardcover: 96 pages Merrell Holberton (October 1,
Reader review: As many know, American painter John Singer
Sargent (18561925) was not only a gifted landscape artist
but was also recognized as the outstanding society portraitist of
his day. One often thinks of him in connection with his painting
of Madame X and the scandal that ensued. However, we are
reminded of a much different Sargent when we view his portraits
of children, so innocent, so appealing.
Sargent, of course, is not the only artist noted for his children's
portraits. James McNeill Whistler rendered a stunning full length
portrait of Miss Cicely Alexander, the daughter of a London
banker and art collector. Renoir left to the world warm canvases
depicting his family, Thomas Eakins immortalized children at
play, and Joshua Reynolds portrayed an angelic child with "A
These artists and more are represented in "Children of
the Gilded Era: Portraits by Sargent, Renoir, Cassatt, and their
Contemporaries" by Barbara Gallati, well known lecturer
and Curator of American Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
More than a collection of memorable paintings of children this
lovely volume represents how children were seen at the end of
the 19th century. At that time, one's place in society was often
undergirded by commissioned portraits. Thus, the children were
seen not only through the artists' eyes but as the family wished
them to be regarded and seen.
With 80 illustrations, each accompanied by a brief sketch, and
seven succinct essays the reader is offered pictorial and narrative
insight into how yesterday's society viewed children. Gail
Cassatt: A Brush With Independence Format:
Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2003
Run Time: 57 minutes
Mary Cassatt: A Brush With Independence Format:
VHS Release Date: September 3, 2002
Run Time: 57 minutes
Unmarried and childless, Mary Cassatt nevertheless became America's
first impressionist painter with her everyday depictions of
mothers and children. This 55-minute documentary takes viewers
to Paris and its countryside where the expatriate mixed with
the likes of Edgar Degas, became the only American invited to
join the French impressionists, and contributed to the burgeoning
women's suffrage movement. Drawing upon excerpts of letters
and diaries from her family, fellow painters, and friends--as
well as her own words--this authoritative film explores her
influences, as varied as her spirited mother to the masters
hanging in the Louvre. Narrator Anne Archer also details Cassatt's
significant role in the changing of the art world and challenges
like the depressions after the deaths of family members, which
kept her from painting for years at a time. Throughout, viewers
are treated to footage of her paintings, and those of her friends
and influences. Kimberly Heinrichs
Women Artists: Mary Cassatt (2001)
DVD Release Date: March 28, 2006
Run Time: 45 minutes
Children and naturalism are the hallmarks of Mary Cassatt's
work during the 1880s and 1890s. Cassatt absorbed from her Impressionist
colleagues Caillebotte, Degas, and Renoir, as well as her study
of Japanese prints, the modern idea that the background of a
painting might be as significant as the foreground. Her paintings
depict a world of her own creation, one that adults can fully
understand only by recapturing their childhood persona. The
program provides an in-depth look into her life, and includes
numerous examples of her works while examining her style which
made her unique in the world of art. This original program also
features spectacular imagery and many rare historical photographs.
Mary Cassatt: An American Impressionist by Gerhard Gruitrooy Hardcover:
80 pages : Todtri Productions, Ltd.; New Ed edition (September 1998)
Mary Cassatt: Prints and Drawings from the Artist's Studio
by Warren Adelson, Jay E. Cantor, Susan Pinsky, Marc Rosen,
Shapiro Paperback, 148 pages (November 6, 2000) Princeton
One of the greatestand most popularof the Impressionists,
Mary Cassatt created some of her most inventive and appealing
images in the print medium. Documenting a startling new discovery,
this exquisitely produced book unveils 204 major prints and
drawings that have been sequestered in a private collection
for nearly half a century.
Mary Cassatt: Painter of Modern Women (The World of Art)
by Griselda Pollock Paperback (September 1998) Thames
A groundbreaking new study that redefines Mary Cassatt's status
in the Parisian avant-garde and in American art, placing her
work in the wider context of 19th-century feminism and art theory.
184 illustrations, 55 in color.
Mary Cassatt (Library of American Art) by Nancy Mowell
Mathews Hardcover, 160 pages (April 1987) Harry N Abrams
The shortness of the volume (and the plentitude of excellent
black-and-white illustrations and color plates) tends to restrict
this monograph to survey length. Yet the book includes a clear
definition of the artist's personality, a revised chronology,
and a balanced analysis of Cassatt's development, showing for
example that she was a true Impressionist for only nine years.
Mary Cassatt, Modern Woman by Judith A. Barter, Erica
E. Hirshler, Art Institute of Chicago Staff Hardcover,
320 pages (October 1998) Harry N Abrams
Mary Cassatt; Impressionist at Home by Barbara Stern
Shapiro Hardcover, 80 pages (September 1998) Universe Pub
This unique selectionpublished to coincide with a major
national exhibitionsalutes Cassatt's extraordinary gift
for depicting the sanctity of the home and her remarkable sensitivity
to life's moments of repose. 40 color illustrations.
Mary Cassatt and Philadelphia by Suzanne G. Lindsay
Paperback (February 1985) Philadelphia Museum of Art
Lindsay's essay responds to a need greater than that for an
exhibition catalog: it presents the artist in a new role as
liaison between the art centers of Paris and Philadelphia
Mary Cassatt and Philadelphiatheir significance to future
generations of American art-lovers is clearly defined within
the contents of this publication. The books social overtones
are informative and its thesis is one that has all too often
Cassatt: Impressionist From Philadelphia Format:
VHS Release Date: June 20, 2000
Run Time: 30 minutes
The first program to celebrate Cassatt's remarkable career tells
her personal story the years in Paris, her relationship
with Degas, the influence of her socially prominent Philadelphia
familywith on-location footage and stills. The best examples
of her work have been collected here, revealing the quality,
variety, and originality of this great 19th-century American
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