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Mary Cassatt letters, 1882-1926

Mary Cassatt letters, 1882-1926

Cassatt, Mary, 1844-1926

Painter

This site provides access to the letters of Mary Cassatt in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2014, and total 239 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 0.2 linear feet

Summary: This small collection of sixty-three letters written by painter Mary Cassatt dates from 1882 to 1926. The bulk of these letters are to Cassatt's nephew, Robert Kelso Cassatt, and to his wife Minnie regarding family, mutual friends, and travel. The remaining letters are to friends regarding purchases of artwork, travel, and personal news. There is also one newsclipping of Cassett's obituary.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) lived and worked in Paris, France.

Provenance

Items in this collection are gifts of various donors. The letters to Peter and Vollard were donated by Charles Feinberg in 1955. The letters to William T. Evans, Miss Lamb, and Miss Stillman were transferred from the National Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution in 1980. An obituary and the letters to Robert Kelso Cassatt and his wife Minnie were donated by Alexander J. Cassatt Jr., the great nephew of Mary Cassatt, in 1986.

Related Materials

The Archives of American Art also holds the Frederick A. Sweet research material on Mary Cassatt and James McNeill Whistler; Nancy Hale research material on Mary Cassatt; the Mary Cassatt collection (reel C1); and the Mary Cassatt correspondence with Emily Sartain (reel 3658).

Funding

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Location of Originals

  • Reel N70-77: Originals returned to the lender, Ann Donohue, after microfilming.

A Finding Aid to the Mary Cassatt letters, 1882-1926, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.cassmarl
Author
Finding aid prepared by Judy Ng
Biographical/Historical note
Painter Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) lived and worked in Paris, France. She is one of the preeminent Impressionists known for her depictions of both the social and domestic lives of women and their children.
Cassatt was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania and began her art studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts at the age of sixteen. In 1865, she traveled to Paris to further her art studies under the private tutelage of Jean-Léon Gérôme and Thomas Couture, and augmented these studies with daily copying at the Louve. From 1868 to 1877, she traveled to Italy, Spain, Belgium, and Holland to view and copy the old masters and produced works that were accepted into the Paris Salon. With the encouragement of Edgar Degas, Cassatt began painting in the avant-garde Impressionist style in 1877. For the next ten years, Cassatt exhibited Impressionist paintings to critical international acclaim. After 1887, she began to experiment with other mediums and techniques, though she continued to focus her subject matter on the lives of women and children. Through the 1890s, she became a mentor to young American artists, acted as an advisor to American art collectors, and served as an ambassador for various art institutions. In 1904, she received France's Légion d'Honneur and continued producing works through the 1900s. In 1915, Cassatt stopped painting due to her failing eyesight, and lived in Le Mesnil-Théribus, France until her death in 1926.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 1 series.
Series 1: Mary Cassatt letters, 1892-1926 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Scope and Contents note
This small collection of sixty-three letters written by painter Mary Cassatt dates from 1882 to 1926. The bulk of these letters are to Cassatt's nephew, Robert Kelso Cassatt, and to his wife Minnie regarding family, mutual friends, and travel. The remaining letters are to friends regarding purchases of artwork, travel, and personal news. There is also one newsclipping of Cassett's obituary.
Provenance
Items in this collection are gifts of various donors. The letters to Peter and Vollard were donated by Charles Feinberg in 1955. The letters to William T. Evans, Miss Lamb, and Miss Stillman were transferred from the National Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution in 1980. An obituary and the letters to Robert Kelso Cassatt and his wife Minnie were donated by Alexander J. Cassatt Jr., the great nephew of Mary Cassatt, in 1986.
Separated Materials note
Letters written by Cassett to Eugene Vail and Mabel and Mathilde Valet were loaned for microfilming by Ann Donohue of the National Arts Club. Loaned material is available on reel N70-77, but is not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Related Archival Materials note
The Archives of American Art also holds the Frederick A. Sweet research material on Mary Cassatt and James McNeill Whistler; Nancy Hale research material on Mary Cassatt; the Mary Cassatt collection (reel C1); and the Mary Cassatt correspondence with Emily Sartain (reel 3658).
Location of Originals
  • Reel N70-77: Originals returned to the lender, Ann Donohue, after microfilming.
Processing Information note
Each acquisition was preliminarily processed and microfilmed separately onto reels D8, 2787, and 3684. All materials were merged, processed, and described by Judy Ng in 2014 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional Forms Available

This collection was digitized in its entirety in 2014 and is available on the Archives of American Art's website.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Mary Cassatt letters, 1882-1926. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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