Artist of the Tender Moment
Mary Cassatt always wanted to be an artist. But to reach her goal, she had to overcome many barriers. At the time Mary lived, people frowned on girls from wealthy families having a career. Her parents did not want her living the “odd” life they thought artists lived. Few art schools even accepted girls and women as students. And the “art world” held one idea of what painting should be but Mary had a different idea.
Mary did not give in to these prejudices. After much travel, study, and hard work, she won over her parents and the critics. Today Mary Cassatt’s “impressionist” paintings hang in the most prestigious museums and collections throughout the world. She helped change attitudes that for so long kept women from their dreams. She even played a part in winning the right for women to vote.
The Mary Cassatt doll is shown here in a dress and bonnet similar to what she wore in one of her self portraits. She comes with a little basket that she might have carried food or art supplies in and a paint set and artist pad for you to use.
In the accompanying book Mary Cassatt: The Life and Art of a Genteel Rebel, you will follow the steps of this courageous woman. You will learn how she overcame centuries of prejudice to become one of the most renowned artists of all time. Reading about Mary, you will be inspired to believe in yourself and to reach for the stars.
It is for an 8 year old and up reader with 104 pages with many color photos of her paintings. Includes a fun and educational activity pack too!
About Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt was not the typical woman of her time. She came from a wealthy family in Pennsylvania. She was well-educated and studied art in Philadelphia. But after a few years she took a radical turn. She left to study art at the major museums in Europe. As her style matured, she made her way to Paris.
In Paris, Mary embraced a new style of painting called Impressionism. It uses strong bright colors. Light seems to be striking the surface and reflecting off it. It's as if the sun is hitting a shiny object and bouncing off it. The image on the canvas is more like a blur than a photo.
Mary embraced the Impressionists' technique. Like them, she painted scenes of everyday life. She focused on the closeness of mothers and children. One famous painting is of a mother bathing her child. Mary set these paintings in the home. Her family members often posed as her models. Mary never married or had children of her own. Yet her works capture the tender moments shared by mother and child.
Mary was one of the few women artists to succeed professionally. At the time, art was largely the domain of men only. But Edgar Degas, a leader in the Impressionist movement, saw Mary's work. He said: "Voila! There is someone who feels as I do." She was the only woman invited to exhibit her work with the other Impressionists.
Though she lived in Europe, Mary returned to the United States often. She exhibited her work in the U.S. and advised American art collectors. When a writer began to write her biography, she told him: "I am an American, simply and frankly an American."