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March is National Women’s History Month. PCCA honors the achievements and accomplishments of women working in the visual arts.
Visit our website this month to discover facts about leading women artists.
Five Art Facts about Mary Stevenson Cassatt
American painter and printmaker Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844-1926) is known today for her prolific images which depict the social and private lives of women. Cassatt a native of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania lived as an expatriate in Paris beginning in the mid- 1860’s. She was one of the few Americans and women who participated in the nineteenth century French avant-garde. Read on to learn a few fun facts about a key player in the Impressionist movement.
- While women were discouraged from attending universities in the early 1860’s Cassatt began to pursue an art education at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia, PA) one of the few institutions that accepted women students. By the mid-1860’s she became frustrated with the institutions attitude toward women. She left the academy without her degree and moved to Europe.
- When living and working in Paris Cassatt’s work caught the eye of Edgar Degas at the 1877 Salon. The two became great friends. At the invitation of Degas, Cassatt joined the Impressionist group in 1879 and began exhibiting her work – which sold successfully.
- Cassatt served as an advisor to many American collectors. She worked with them only on the condition that their acquisitions would be bequeathed to American museums.
- In 1910 Cassatt traveled to Egypt and found her artistic confidence rattled. She felt her talent paled in comparison to the ancient art.
- In 1915 Cassatt lost her vision to diabetes and was forced to give up painting completely.