These paintings and prints by Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) – dating from the final decades of the 19th century – belong to a single collection in New York at the Metropolitan Museum. Several of the most interesting were donated by the pioneering American art collector and suffragist Louisine Havemeyer (1855-1929), patron and friend of the artist.
|Young Mother Sewing|
|Nurse Reading to a Little Girl|
|Mother Feeding Child|
|Peasant Mother & Child|
|The Straw Hat|
|Lady at the Tea Table|
The final painting is the subject of an anecdote that also demonstrates Mrs. Havemeyer's sturdy support of her favorite Museum –
"This work shows Mary Dickinson Riddle, Cassatt’s mother’s first cousin, presiding at tea, a daily ritual among upper-middle-class women on both sides of the Atlantic. Mrs. Riddle’s hand rests on the handle of a teapot, part of a gilded blue-and-white Canton porcelain service that her daughter had presented to the artist’s family. Painted in response to the gift, the portrait demonstrates Cassatt’s mastery of Impressionism in its sketchlike finish, the casual handling of anatomy, and the sitter’s indifference to the viewer. As Mrs. Riddle’s daughter disliked the portrait, Cassatt kept it until Louisine Havemeyer persuaded her to give it to The Metropolitan Museum of Art."