A Cache of Cassatts


She was the daughter of a privileged Pennsylvania family, born in Pittsburgh two decades before the Civil War, and could have led a comfortable life of gilded-age conformity. Instead, Mary Cassatt (1844 %26#8211;%26nbsp;1926) departed for Paris, arriving amidst one of the most radical upheavals in Western art. As the most important of the American Impressionists, the expat Cassatt lived and worked at the heart of the French movement; she and Degas were friends and confidants. Beyond her legacy as a painter, however, she is recognized as a pioneer of late 19th- and early-20th-century printmaking, forging new techniques in aquatint, drypoint, etching and lithography that often bore the influence of the then-new-to-Europe tradition of Japanese woodblocks, with an emphasis on patterning and dramatic off-center perspective. Now a cache of Cassatt works on paper %26#8212;%26nbsp;41 major prints and drawings %26#8212; lands in Houston, at blue-chip dealer Meredith Long %26amp; Company. This rare collection was originally acquired by the artist%26#8217;s Paris dealer Ambroise Vollard (the gallerist to first show C%26#233;zanne, as well as to exhibit Picasso, Pissarro and Gauguin), who selected these works a century ago from Cassatt%26#8217;s greatest graphic creations for his personal trove. %26#8220;Mary Cassatt: Works on Paper,%26#8221; April 22 %26#8211; May 29, at Meredith Long %26amp; Company.

Image: Mary Cassatt%26#8217;s Gathering Fruit (Le Potager), circa 1893, at Meredith Long %26amp; Company%26nbsp;

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