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About Mary Cassatt - American Artist

Updated on November 4, 2016
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Katherine has researched and written about many American and Australian Artists - both past and present

Learn about Mary Cassatt and her prints and paintings

Learn about Mary Cassatt - the American Artist and Impressionist painter and printmaker.

You can:

  • find out more about Mary Cassatt's life
  • see images of Cassatt's paintings and prints - either on-line or in museums and galleries around the world
  • read about exhibitions of her paintings
  • get books about Cassatt's life and work
  • learn more about Cassatt and Impressionism

The image is a painting of Mary Cassatt by her friend Edgar Degas (Source: Wikipedia)

Biography of Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844 - 1926)

Born: May 22, 1844 Allegheny City, Pennsylvania,

Died: June 14, 1926 Chteau de Beaufresne, near Paris

Cassatt is an American artist who was a key figure in the French Impressionist movement in the second half of the nineteenth century. The key motifs in Cassatt's drawings, paintings and prints are accurate observations of women in private domestic moments and of mothers with their children.

  • born into a wealthy family - she travelled and lived in Europe with her family as a child
  • her family did not want her to become a professional artist - at a time when art was regarded as a socially valuable skill for young ladies rather than a career. Her father refused to pay for her art supplies.
  • age 16 attended Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts - but was dissatisfied by with both the curriculum and teaching
  • 1866 moved to Paris to pursue her art studies in France - studied and copied masterpieces in the Louvre
  • 1868 - had a painting accepted into the exhibition run by the Paris Salon
  • 1870: the Franco-Prussian War meant she had to return to the USA
  • 1871: Cassatt returned to France in the Autumn
  • 1872 - another painting accepted by the Paris Salon. However Cassatt was critical of the conventions and politics of the Salon
  • 1875 observed Degas's pastels for the first time and subsequently developed a close friendship with Edgar Degas. He taught her to use pastels and etching and had an impact on the quality of her draughtsmanship

  • 1877 - invited by Degas to exhibit her work with the Impressionists. She remained an active member of the group until 1886
  • 1891 - inspired by Japanese wood prints, she exhibited a series of highly original colored drypoint and aquatint prints. These were subsequently regarded as her most creative and original contribution to the art of the time.
  • 1900 - her work became more sentimental
  • 1904: awarded the the Lgion d'honneur
  • 1914 - blindness forced her to give up painting

The Life of Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt: A Life
Mary Cassatt: A Life
Hardcover: 383 pagesPublisher: Villard; 1st edition (March 1, 1994)

BOOK: Mary Cassatt: A Life - by Nancy Mowell Mathews

reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars (10 customer reviews)

One of few women Impressionists, Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) had a life of paradoxes: American born, she lived and worked in France; a classically trained artist, she preferred the company of radicals; never married, she painted exquisite and beloved portraits of mothers and children. This book provides new insight into the personal life and artistic endeavors of this extraordinary woman. 133 illustrations.

Videos about Mary Cassatt on You Tube

Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives
Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives
Hardcover: 96 pagesPublisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (September 1, 1998)

BOOKS: Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives - by Debra N. Mancoff

Amazon reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 customer review)

Published in conjunction with a major 1998 retrospective at the Art Institute in Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives offers an intimate look into the world of women in the late nineteenth century. Using the paintings, prints, and pastels that Cassatt created throughout her career, this book explores the main facets of feminine life: solitary, social, public, and intimate. Cassatt herself emerges not just as a chronicler of nineteenth-century women's lives, but as the inhabitant of an extraordinary life

Paintings and Drawings by Mary Cassatt

The Child's Bath (1893) - In the Art Institute of Chicago

Mary Cassatt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Mary Cassatt in Art Galleries and Museums

These are links to Art Galleries and Museums where you can find artwork by Mary Cassatt

Mother Combing Child's Hair 1879

Mary Cassatt in Exhibitions

Exhibitions of prints and drawings included:

* "Mary Cassatt: Prints and Drawings from the Artist's Studio" held at Adelson Galleries.

* "Art in the Mirror: The Counterproofs of Mary Cassatt," (2004) which presented previously unknown pastel transfers.

BOOK: Mary Cassatt: Paintings and Prints - By Frank Getlein

Amazon reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)

Presents paintings, pastels, and prints by Mary Cassett plus brief notes that explain the circumstances surrounding each painting or print. Quantity and quality of illustrations praised by people who have bought this book - includes many lesser known works

BOOKS: About Mary Cassatt and her work - books on Amazon

Cassatt: A Retrospective
Cassatt: A Retrospective
Cassatt: A Retrospective traces the life of this great American artist through the correspondence and accomplishments she maintained over a lifetime. Carefully selected letters with fascinating descriptions of social events, professional meetings, meals, and homelife abroad span several decades to reveal Cassatt's thoughts and activities. Also included are more than 200 illustrations (118 in color) of Cassatt's greatest and lesser-known works - paintings, pastels, and etchings.
Mary Cassatt: Painter of Modern Women (World of Art)
Mary Cassatt: Painter of Modern Women (World of Art)
Pollock sees Cassatt as the "painter of modern women" who was unafraid of such tough artistic influences as Degas, Courbet, and Manet. In this clearly written guide, Cassatt's courage shines through, but also her variety. Readers may begin to look at the women and children in the paintings and discern new expressions in their faces, not just the sweet sentiment that has usually been interpreted therein.

Five O'Clock Tea (1880) - oil on canvas | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond
Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond
This stunning 400-page compendium, published to accompany the important exhibition which travelled to San Francisco in the summer of 2008. It presents these pioneering painters alongside each other for the first time, reproducing their oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, drawings and etchings and offering a cogent rebuttal of familiar Impressionist narratives.Available in paperback and hardcover, 320 pagesmakaingamark saysI have just bought this book and it's a treasure. I particularly like the way it covers all aspects of their work and is not just limited to paintings. It expands my knowledge of painters I thought I already knew and has given me a whole new perspective on women impressionists generally. Production values are excellent.

Mary Cassatt and the Women Impressionists

This is the catalogue of the Women Impressionists exhibition held in San Francisco in 2008

Fine Art Prints by Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt: Paintings and Prints
Mary Cassatt: Paintings and Prints
Paperback: 160 pagesPublisher: Abbeville Press (November 1, 1980)
Mary Cassatt: Prints and Drawings from the Artist's Studio
Mary Cassatt: Prints and Drawings from the Artist's Studio
Paperback: 148 pagesPublisher: Princeton University Press (November 6, 2000)

BOOK: Mary Cassatt: Prints and Drawings from the Artist's Studio - by Warren Adelson, Jay E. Cantor, Susan Pinsky, Marc Rosen, Barbara Stern Shapiro

The catalogue section of the book documents in exacting detail and in superb illustrations the 41 color prints, 127 black-and-white prints, and 36 drawings that constitute what is now known as the studio collection. Essays by leading experts tell the story of this rare collection and explore Cassatt's virtuosity as a printmaker. The result is an important and unusually beautiful publication that will intensify interest in this much-loved artist and stimulate a new appreciation of her significant contributions to modern printmaking.

Mary Cassatt Prints and Drawings from the Collection of Ambroise Vollard
Mary Cassatt Prints and Drawings from the Collection of Ambroise Vollard
Hardcover: 164 pagesPublisher: Adelson Galleries and Marc Rosen Fine Art; annotated edition edition (May 30, 2008)

BOOK: Mary Cassatt: Prints and Drawings from the Collection of Ambroise Vollard - by Marc Rosen, Susan Pinsky, Nancy Mowll Mathews, Sarah Bertalan

During Cassatt's extended residence in France, Ambroise Vollard, the cutting-edge dealer in Paris best known for his appreciation and promotion of the works of Cezanne and Picasso, was stunned by the vitality and modern vision of her works on paper. In particular, Vollard was fascinated by the sequential development of the prints, which provided an extraordinary visual record of her creative process. Vollard later acquired Cassatt's entire collection of her prints and drawings, most of which had never been exhibited. These works remained in his holdings until his death in 1939, when they were acquired by the distinguished French dealer and collector, Henri M. Petiet. Part of this trove of works was finally brought to light in 2000 by Marc Rosen Fine Art, Ltd. in the ground-breaking exhibition "Mary Cassatt: Prints and Drawings from the Artist's Studio" held at Adelson Galleries.

The full depth of this astonishing cache of Cassatt's graphic works is revealed in the final exhibition of this series, "Cassatt from the Collection of Vollard: Prints and Drawings." The exhibition and this accompanying catalogue include nearly 100 etchings, aquatints, and a group of important early drawings, which reveal the range of the artist's creative process and add to our understanding of her innovative approach to art. Of particular interest are the works dealing with the artit's central themes addressing the place of women in society and her unsentimental representations of women with children.

In addition to the illustrations the catalogue includes a foreword by Warren Adelson, an introduction by Marc Rosen, and essays by Nancy Mowll Mathews and Sarah Bertalan.

BOOK: Art in a Mirror: The Counterproofs of Mary Cassatt - By Warren Adelson

This book reveals, for the first time, a large and previously unknown group of 50 pastel counterproofs of Mary Cassatt. These counterproofs, which are literally mirror images of her pastels, produced by taking an impression of that original on a second sheet of paper, were a novel enterprise.

Art in a Mirror: The Counterproofs of Mary Cassatt
Art in a Mirror: The Counterproofs of Mary Cassatt
Paperback: 96 pagesPublisher: Adelson Galleries, Inc (Nov 2004)

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