Mary Cassatt Catalogue
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Mary Cassatt
Chronology
1844
Mary Stevenson Cassatt is born on May 22, in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Simpson Cassatt. She is the fourth surviving child in the family.
 
1851
The Cassatt family moves to Paris, France for two years.
 
1855
The family travels to Heidelberg and Darmstadt in hopes of finding treatment for Robert Kelso Cassatt's bone disease. Mary's other brother, Alexander Cassatt, studies engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Darmstadt, Germany. The Cassatts return to America after Robert's death.
 
1858
The family settles in the Philadelphia area. Subsequently, Cassatt enrolls in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where she studies from 1861 to 1865.
 
1866
Despite her father's objections, Cassatt goes to Paris to continue her art education. She briefly attends Charles Chaplin's atelier, then studies privately with Jean-Léon Gérôme.
 
1867
Cassatt and a friend from the Pennsylvania Academy, Eliza Haldeman, study painting at Courances and Ecouen, art colonies near Paris that emphasize figure painting.
 
1868
After a rejected submission in the previous year, "The Mandolin Player" is the first work to be accepted at the Salon (under the pseudonym Mary Stevenson.) Meanwhile she continues her studies with Thomas Couture at Villiers-le-Bel, near Ecouen, France.
 
Brother Alexander Cassatt marries Lois Buchanan, the niece of President Buchanan.
 
1870
Cassatt studies with Charles Bellany in Rome, while the Salon jury accepts "A Peasant Woman from Fobello, Sesia Valley (Piémont)". The outbreak of Franco-Prussian war prompts her return home to Philadelphia.
 
1871
The family moves to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, to be close to Alexander Cassatt in Altoona. During her sixteen months in America, Cassatt exhibits two paintings at Goupil's, New York and then in Chicago, where they are destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
 
Cassatt and friend Emily Sartain, (daughter of John Sartain and close friend of American painter, Thomas Eakins) leave for Europe in December.
 
1872
Cassatt studies printmaking with Carlo Raimondi in Parma, Italy and also the works of Parmigianino and Correggio, concluding that the latter is the greatest painter who ever lived. During the autumn months, she travels to Spain, where she lives in Seville through April 1873, with a studio at the Casa de Pilatos. "Pendant le Carnaval" painted during that time is accepted by the Salon.
 
1873
Another Sevillian work, "Torero and Young Girl" (Offering the Panal to the Toreador) is accepted at the Salon. Cassatt travels to Paris for the exhibition, where she meets Louisine Waldron Elder (later Mrs. Henry O. Havemeyer).
 
Cassatt makes her debut in Philadelphia, with the exhibition of "On the Balcony" (no. 1) at Bailey & Co.
 
1874
By summer, Cassatt is once again studying with Couture at Villiers-le-Bel. "Portrait of Madame Cortier" shown at the Salon, elicits praise from Degas. She also exhibits "Torero and Young Girl" and possibly, "On the Balcony" at New York's National Academy of Design.
 
1875
Stays in Philadelphia during the summer and in 1876 makes her debut at the Pennsylvania Academy's inaugural exhibition celebrating its reopening after six years of reconstruction.
 
1877
Cassatt meets Degas who invites her to exhibit with the Société Anonyme des Artistes, or the Independents, better known as the Impressionists. Following the philosophy of the Independents, that criticized Salon's jury system for controling artistic freedom of expression, Cassatt stops submitting work to the Salon.
 
Parents and older sister Lydia permanently relocate to France, where Mr. Cassatt had planned to retire. Cassatt is now responsible for taking care of her family.
 
1878
She declines to participate in the first exhibition of the Society of American Artists in New York in anticipation of the unrealized Paris Impressionist show.
 
1879
In April, Cassatt exhibits for the first time with the Impressionists in their fourth show in Paris and with the Society of American Artists in New York where she shows "Reading Le Figaro" and "Mandolin Player".
 
She collaborates with Degas on a journal of original prints, titled 'Le Jour et la nuit'. Although it is never published, Cassatt gets a chance to practice printmaking techniques which she originally learned in Parma in 1873.
 
1880
Participates in the fifth Impressionist exhibition.

Brother Alexander Cassatt and wife Lois, with their four children, visit France for the first time. The family acts as models for Cassatt, and the maternity theme emerges in her work.
 
1881
Paul Durand-Ruel becomes Cassatt's art dealer. She once again participates in the Impressionist exhibition.
 
With Cassatt's help, Alexander begins collecting Impressionist paintings, which were among the earliest to appear in the United States.
 
1882
Due to a membership dispute, both Degas and Cassatt refuse to participate in the seventh Impressionist exhibition. In October, younger brother Gardner marries Eugenia Carter. Almost a month later, on November 7, sister Lydia dies from Bright's disease, a kidney infection.
 
While in Philadelphia, Alexander resigns as the Vice-President of the Pennsylvania Railroad and his family once again make an extended visit to Paris.
 
1883
In August, friend and art collector Louisine Waldron Elder marries sugar magnate Henry O. Havemeyer. With Cassatt's help the couple gathered an important collection of old master and nineteenth-century French art including Impressionist works by Monet, Degas and Cassatt herself.
 
In December, travels with Mrs. Cassatt, who suffered from heart problems and rheumatism, to the southern coast of Spain in the hopes of improving her mother's poor health.
 
1886
Organizes and participates in the eighth and final Impressionist exhibition. Alexander contibutes two of Cassatt's works to the Impressionist show held in New York at Durand-Ruel's gallery.
 
1887
Cassatt and her parents move to a new apartment at 10 rue de Marignan, with such amenities as an elevator and central heating. This would remain Cassatt's Paris residence for the rest of her life.
 
1888
Cassatt, an experienced horsewoman, suffers a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder in a riding accident.
 
1890
Along with Degas, Cassatt frequently visits the Japanese print exhibition at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, which influences her own experimentation with color printing techniques.
 
1891
Both Pissarro and Cassatt are excluded from the Société des Peintres-Graveurs Français exhibition due to foreign citizenship. As a result, Durand-Ruel gallery organizes Cassatt's first solo exhibition featuring ten color prints, two oils and two pastels.
 
Father, Robert Simpson Cassatt, dies on December 9th.
 
1892
Receives commission for a mural on the subject of Modern Woman for the Woman's Pavilion at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The mural was executes at Château Bachivillers and shipped to Chicago in 1893 where it was recieved with mixed reviews. (it has since been lost)
 
1893
Second major solo exhibition including 98 works at Galeries Duran-Ruel, Paris is held in November.
 
1894
Purchases and renovates Château Beaufresne, at Mesnil-Théribus, fifty miles from Paris.
 
1895
First major individual show in New York is held at Durand-Ruel's gallery.
 
Mother dies on October 21.
 
1898
Visits family in United States, during her first trip back to America since 1870. Alexander is elected president of the Pennsylvania Railroad on June 9, 1899.
 
1901
Joins the Havemeyers on an extended tour of Italy and Spain, helping enhance their art collection.
 
1904
Accepts the Cross of the Legion of Honor from the French government on December 31, while rejecting the Lippincott Prize from the Pennsylvania Academy.
 
1906
Alexander dies on December 28.
 
1908
Visits bother Gardner and family in Philadelphia on her third and last visit to America.
 
1910
Joins Gardner and family on their trip to Egypt. Gardner becomes suddenly ill and dies on April 5, 1911.
 
1912
Gives interviews to Achille Segard which serve as basis for her first biography released the following year.
 
1914
World War I forces Cassatt to flee from Beaufresne to the Villa Angeletto in the south of France, where she visits Renoir.
 
Receives Gold Medal of Honor from the Pennsylvania Academy.
 
1915
Participates in the "Suffrage Loan Exhibition of Old Masters and Works by Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt" held at Knoedler gallery, New York.
 
Blindness from cataracts brings an end to Cassatt's active career as an artist. She undergoes several unsuccessful surgeries.
 
1917
Longtime friend, Degas dies on September 27, and Cassatt helps settle his estate.
 
1923
A dispute with Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer over an edition of drypoint plates breaks up their long friendship.
 
1926
Cassatt dies on June 14 at Beaufresne and is buried in the family tomb in the cemetery at Mesnil-Théribus.
 
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