ARTIST THIS WEEK: MARY CASSATT (1844-1926)
I thought it very fitting on this first “Fine Arts Friday” to start with my favorite artist, whose birthday would have been yesterday. Mary Cassatt was born in Pittsburgh, and went against her family's wishes to become an artist. She moved to Paris and lived among the Impressionists of the day, working side by side with Edward Degas, Berthe Marisot, Monet, and Renoir. In a time when women were supposed to grow up and become wives and mothers, she chose instead to commit her life to her work.
Her paintings reflected everyday life, and her subjects were most often mothers and children. Here are a few of my favorites:
Maternal Caress, 1896, Phiadelphia Museum of Art
Breakfast in Bed, 1897, Huntington Library and Art Collection
Self Portrait, 1878, Metropolitan Museum of Art
For an activity, have your child gather either personal photos of moms and children together, or cut pictures out of a magazine of the same. Make either a photo collage with a painting of Cassatt in the middle (or a booklet with her on the cover) and all the other pictures around it. Talk about how everyday activities have changed over the years.
Next week for Fine Arts Friday I'll share on a famous composer!