Biography Known for her perceptive depictions of women and children, Mary Cassatt was one of the few American artists active in the nineteenth-century French avant-garde. Filter results by: Works on View Limit to works on view.
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After viewing this gallery, the visitor has to turn back in order to see the rest of the exhibition, which continues in a small gallery of a documentary nature, featuring text and enlarged photographs.
It presents Cassatt as playing an important role in the diffusion of Impressionism along with the gallery dealer of the Impressionists and the chief dealer representing Cassatt—Durand-Ruel. Joseph Durand-Ruel, giving one a sense of the social life of the artist.
Another pastel, Portrait of Marie-Therese Gaillard is a highly accomplished portrayal depicting the thoughtful expression of the girl whose head is placed within a structured abstracted composition. Portrait of Mademoiselle Anne-Marie Durand-Ruel as well as Portrait de Mademoiselle Louise-Aurore Villeboeuf are pastels that show signs of being commissioned portraits yet are nonetheless a tour de force.
It includes seven paintings and pastels and two prints on the theme of mother and child, most made during the s and s, with one rarely seen very late painting from that appears quite different from the rest. It should be noted, however, that the sumptuously clad woman in a loose silk peignoir in pastel colors next to the standing nude boy embracing her, represents a well-to-do mother in the luxury of her private home, rather than a hired nanny at work.
Mary Cassatt Artworks
Installed in the relatively small galleries on the upper floor of the museum, the exhibition is necessarily compact. Only recently were they converted into air-conditioned exhibition spaces, allowing the museum to hold temporary specialized exhibitions while displaying the permanent collection downstairs. Larger galleries would have offered a more spacious habitat for this superb selection of paintings, pastels, and prints, yet this space offers a rare intimate experience when it comes to viewing Impressionist art works. The modest gallery spaces are more akin to the scale of an apartment than to mansion halls or galleries of a large museum.
The advantage is that visiting the Cassatt exhibition in these galleries one is always in close proximity of the artworks.
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This contrasts with most Impressionist exhibitions, which tend to be blockbusters in major museums and display the works in sizable galleries accommodating a very large number of visitors. The limited space for this exhibition, however, also presents some limitations with which the curators and exhibition designer had to contend. It did not allow for English wall texts and must have led to the unusual decision to use even a small cramped area within a space designated for the toilets , placing two stands in front of which visitors could sit down to view exemplars of the exhibition catalogue.
The second image in the catalogue is a full-page reproduction of a photograph of a mother and child attributed to the mansion owner from the days she was a portrait artist. Discovered along with a trove of additional photographs by Curie, the curator of the museum, this photograph features a well-attired Parisian mother of the late nineteenth century with an almost naked child casually sitting on her lap. Jacquemart used this kind of photograph for painting her portraits.
He, from a banking family and she, a former painter, the couple were contemporaries of Cassatt, and the construction of their mansion was completed about a year after Cassatt settled in Paris. The couple was dedicated to collecting old master paintings and succeeded in forming an impressive collection that filled their mansion. Like them, Cassatt had a deep appreciation for old masters and an interest in collecting them, by advising American collectors, chiefly, Henry Osborne Havemeyer and his wife, Louisine Elder Havemeyer on collecting European masterpieces along with Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, and the Impressionists.
And she was dedicated to do all she could so that as many great masterpieces, old and new, would reach America. Thus, using her mansion as the site for this belated homage to Cassatt in Paris, is an ironic twist. On the other hand, it may also be a fitting venue, for one, because Cassatt believed so strongly in seeing the avant-garde art of her time in the longer historical context of the old masters, and in proximity to them.
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Ruth E. A larger exhibition, Degas Cassatt , curated by Kimberly A. Kathryn Brown London: Routledge, , — Citation: Ruth E.
When last checked the page no longer existed at its original location. Photograph by S.
Self-Portrait , ca. Artwork in the public domain; image courtesy of WikiArt. The Cup of Tea , ca. Oil on Canvas. The Modern Woman , Artwork in the public domain; photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Young Women Picking Fruit , Oil on canvas. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Feeding the Ducks , ca. Drypoint, softground etching, and aquatint.