This research guide provides links to exhibition catalogs, biographies, criticism, and electronic resources regarding the American Impressionist painter and printmaker Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844–1926).
Laura Berberian, Reference Librarian, Researcher & Reference Services Division
Created: May 10, 2019
Last Updated: February 6, 2020
This research guide provides links to exhibition catalogs, biographies, criticism, and electronic resources regarding the American Impressionist painter and printmaker Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844–1926). At age sixteen, Cassatt enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and continued her studies in Paris, France, in the 1860s. From 1879 through the mid-1880s, Cassatt exhibited with a group of artists in Paris, including Jean Courbet, Edouard Manet, and Edgar Degas, who defied the establishment's traditional style of painting, calling themselves Impressionists. Cassatt's artworks mostly depicted unsentimental scenes of women's and children's ordinary lives. In 1890, inspired by an exhibition of Japanese woodcuts, Cassatt developed her own printmaking technique, a combination of dry point, aquatint and etching.
Cassatt was instrumental in getting American art collectors to purchase Impressionist artworks. Thanks to her efforts, many American art museums have collections of Impressionist art.
Cassatt was an active women's suffrage advocate, showing her paintings in fundraising exhibits to benefit the women's suffrage cause. Cassatt's Modern Woman mural for the Women's Building at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, depicts women pursuing knowledge, fame, art, and science.
In 1904, The French government awarded Cassatt the Legion of Honor for her lifetime of artistic accomplishments.
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