Mary Cassatt (American, 1844 - 1926)
The Child, about 1905, oil on canvas.
Gift of Mrs. Blakemore Wheeler 1964.22
Mary Stevenson Cassatt, born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania
(now part of Pittsburgh), was an American painter and
printmaker. She lived much of her adult life in France,
where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later became
the only American artist to exhibit with the Impressionists.
Cassatt often created images of the social and private
lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate
bonds between mothers and children.
This oil painting of a baby was done around 1905 as
a preliminary study for a competition to decorate the
new statehouse in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Cassatt
planned for circular murals for the women’s lounge,
but news of corruption associated with the campaign
to decorate the capitol building caused her to withdraw
from the competition.