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Mary Cassatt

Maternal Caress, c. 1896, by Mary Stevenson Cassatt

Mary Cassatt’s paintings, pastels, and prints demonstrate her personal philosophy that “women should be someone and not something.” In domestic scenes, Cassatt explores the lives and occupations of women, showing them as active and engaged figures. She depicts women reading, caregivers bathing children, and ladies enjoying tea, sealing a letter, or driving a carriage.

Born in Pennsylvania, Cassatt was the only American to join the French Impressionists. Although she spent most of her life abroad, her family’s connections to Philadelphia have made the museum, which holds eighty-three artworks and numerous letters by Cassatt, an important center for her work.