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Mary Cassatt (1845 - 1926)





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.    

1858 The family settles in the Philadelphia area.

1861 Cassatt studies in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

1866 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 "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.   

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 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 leaves for Europe in December.    

1872 Cassatt studies printmaking with Carlo Raimondi in Parma, Italy . 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.   

1874 By summer, Cassatt is once again studying with Couture at Villiers-le-Bel. "Portrait of Madame Cortier" shown at the Salon.     

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. Cassatt stops submitting work to the Salon.        

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'.

1880 Participates in the fifth Impressionist exhibition.  

1881 Paul Durand-Ruel becomes Cassatt's art dealer. She once again participates in the Impressionist exhibition.   

1882 Degas and Cassatt refuse to participate in the seventh Impressionist exhibition to protest the efforts of Caillebotte and others to exclude new artists from the group.

1886  Organizes and participates in the eighth and final Impressionist exhibition. 

1887 Cassatt and her parents move to a new apartment at 10 rue de Marignan. This would remain Cassatt's Paris residence for the rest of her life.    
1890 Cassatt with Degas 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.        

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.     

1898 Visits family in United States, during her first trip back to America since 1870.

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.    

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.
1914 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.    

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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