Friday, March 16, 2018

Mary Cassatt, an American Impressionist in Paris

Musée Jacquemart-André

9 March to 23 July 2018

In the spring of 2018, Culturespaces and the Musée Jacquemart-André will be holding a major retrospective devoted to Mary Cassatt (1844–1926). Considered during her lifetime as the greatest American artist, Cassatt lived in France for more than sixty years. She was the only American painter to have exhibited her work with the Impressionists in Paris.

The female representative of Impressionism

The exhibition focuses on the only American female artist in the Impressionist movement; she was spotted by Degas in the 1874 Salon, and subsequently exhibited her works alongside those of the group. This monographic exhibition will enable visitors to rediscover Mary Cassatt through fifty major works, comprising oils, pastels, drawings, and engravings, which, complemented by various documentary sources, will convey her modernist approach — that of an American woman in Paris.

A franco-american approach to painting

Born into a wealthy family of American bankers with French origins, Mary Cassatt spent a few years in France during her childhood, continuing her studies at the Pennsylvania Fine Arts Academy, and eventually settled in Paris. Therefore, she lived on both continents. This cultural duality is evident in the distinctive style of the artist, who succeeded in making her mark in the male world of French art and reconciling these two worlds.

The originality of her vision

Just like Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt excelled in the art of portraiture, to which she adopted an experimental approach. Influenced by the Impressionist movement and its painters who liked to depict daily life, Mary Cassatt’s favourite theme was portraying the members of her family, whom she represented in their intimate environment. Her unique vision and modernist interpretation of a traditional theme such as the mother and child earned her international recognition. Through this subject, the general public will discover many familiar aspects of French Impressionism and Postimpressionism, along with new elements that underscore Mary Cassatt’s decidedly American identity.

A prestigious selection

The exhibition will bring together a selection of exceptional works loaned from major American museums, such as Washington’s National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Terra Foundation in Chicago; works will also be loaned by prestigious institutions in France — the Musée d’Orsay, the Petit Palais, INHA, and the BnF (French National Library) — and in Europe, such as the Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, and the Bührle Foundation in Zurich. There will also be many works from private collections. Rarely exhibited, these masterpieces will be brought together in the exhibition for the first time.

Mary Cassatt - Portrait of Alexander J. Cassat and His Son Robert Kelso Cassatt

Mary Cassatt,
Portrait of Alexander J. Cassatt and His Son, Robert Kelso Cassatt,
1884, oil on canvas, W1959-1-1, Courtesy of the Philadelphia
Museum of Art © Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with the W. P. Wilstach Fund and with funds contributed by Mrs. William Coxe Wright,

The Cup of Tea

1880-81, oil on canvas, lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, From the Collection of James Stillman,
Gift of Dr. Ernest G. Stillman, 1922 (22.16.17), photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image of the MMA

Mary Cassatt,
In the loge,
1878, oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 10.35, photo © 2018 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Feeding the Ducks, Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise), Drypoint, softground etching, and aquatint, printed in color from three plates; fourth state of four (Mathews & Shapiro)

Mary Cassatt,
Feeding the ducks,
1895, drypoint, softground etching, and aquatint © Bibliothèque de l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art

Mary Cassatt,
Seated Woman with a Child in Her Arms, circa 1890, oil on canvas, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 82/25, photo © Bilboko Arte
Ederren / Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao!HalfHD.jpg

Mary Cassatt,
Music, 1874, oil on canvas, Paris, Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, PPP3737, photo © RMN-Grand Palais /Agence Bulloz

Mary Cassatt,
Baby in Dark Blue Suit, Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder, circa 1889, 
oil on canvas, Cincinnati Art Museum, John J. Emery Fund,
1928.222 © Cincinnati Art Museum

Mary Cassatt,
Summertime, 1894-95, oil on canvas, Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1988.25, photo © Terra
Foundation for American Art, Chicago!HalfHD.jpg

Mary Cassatt,
Young women picking fruits,
1891, oil on canvas, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Patrons Art Fund, 22.8 © Carnegie
Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Patrons Art Fund

Mary Cassatt - Little Girl in a Blue Armchair - NGA 1983.1.18.jpg

Mary Cassatt,
Little Girl in a Blue Armchair,
1878, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. And Mrs. Paul Mellon,
1983.1.18 © Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

Mary Cassatt's "Mother and Child" (1890) is currently in the Roland P. Murdock collection at the Wichita Art Museum.

Mary Cassatt,
Woman and child in front of a tablet where a pitcher and a bowl are placed,
circa 1889, pastel on beige papier, Paris, musée
d’Orsay, donation of M. Jean-Pierre Hugot et de Mlle Louise Hugot, RF 31843 © RMN-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Mother and Child (The Oval Mirror)

donation of Mrs. H.O Havemeyer, 29.100.47, 1929, photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image of the MMA

Double-Sided Print by Mary Cassatt Peasant by WhileTheySlept

Mary Cassatt,
[Mother and chlid] : [Green dress],
circa 1894, strong water, dry-point and aquatint in colors, M CASSATT 12 © Bibliothèque de
l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art!HalfHD.jpg

Mary Cassatt,
By omnibus (or interior of a tram passing over a bridge),
circa 1890-1891, dry-point and soft vanish, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale
de France (BnF), Breeeskin, 145-IV IFF19, Cassatt (Mary), n°13, photo © BnF, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image BnF