The Life And Legacy Of Mary Cassatt Essay

The Life And Legacy Of Mary Cassatt Essay

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The Life and Legacy of Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt was most widely known for her impressionist pieces that depicted mother (or nanny) and child. She was faced with many struggles throughout her life and received much criticism, even after her death in 1926. She found it difficult to receive appropriate recognition for her pieces during her early career. Many were unaccepted by the Salon. Cassatt lived for many years in France after her successful career, which ended abruptly when she went blind. Her talent placed her pieces in many famous museums throughout the world and landed her name among the famous artists of her time. As well as paving the way for powerful women, like herself. She lived during a time of suffragettes searching for equality. She lived to see women gain the right to vote in 1920, which was the cornerstone of equality of women, something she struggled with throughout the entirety of her life. Though she did receive much criticism for being a woman in the very traditionally sexist and male dominated profession, Mary Cassatt went from a child living in Pennsylvania to a young lady who made a name for herself with her talent.
Mary Cassatt had a wonderful childhood filled with travel and a good education. Mary Stevenson Cassatt was born in Allegheny Pennsylvania, which is now part of Pittsburgh on May 22, 1885 (Encyclopedia of World Biography 2). She was one of seven children, two of which did not make it past infancy (Creative Commons License 3). Her childhood was spent moving throughout Germany and France, (Creative Commons License 4) until her family moved back to Pennsylvania, then continued moving eastward to Lancaster and then to Philadelphia (Creative Commons License 3), where Cassatt started school at age si...


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...ed her to a new style of art, copper engraving, which Cassatt became skilled in (Creative Commons License 16). Degas became a family friend to the Cassatt’s (Creative Commons License 16). They had found lifelong friends in each other.
In 1870 Mary Cassatt was forced back to her family’s home in Altoona, Pennsylvania due to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War (Creative Commons License 9). When she returned home she found that her fame in Europe was overshadowed by her brother Alexander Cassatt, who worked as the president of the Pennsylvania railroad. After her return her wealthy father refused to purchase any supplies for her art, he only provided her with basic necessities. Cassatt became frustrated and considered giving up her dreams in order to maintain an independent life style, which was uncommon for a woman to have in the 1800s (Creative Commons License 9)

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