19th-20th century Impressionist painter
(Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (now Pittsburgh), 1844 - 1926, Mesnil-Théribus, France)
Artist Biography: Mary Cassatt is regarded as one of the leading American artists at the end of the nineteenth century. Though born in Pittsburgh into a prominent business family and educated in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Cassatt spent most of her life in Europe. She settled in Paris permanently in 1874 at the age of thirty, and shortly thereafter, at the invitation of Edgar Degas, became associated with the French Impressionist painters. She was the only American to join this group, and exhibited with them regularly from 1879 to 1886. An outspoken critic of more conservative artistic traditions and practices, Cassatt experimented boldly in painting, pastels, and print-making. She was fascinated by the relationship between mothers and children and the role of women in modern society, and created highly perceptive works related to these themes. Her work was exhibited regularly in Paris and beyond, and she gained a considerable reputation in her lifetime. Eye trouble caused her to cease art-making in 1914, though she continued to remain connected to the Parisian art scene until her death in 1926.