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Mary Cassatt at Work

The First Large-Scale Exhibition of the Celebrated Artist’s Work in the U.S. in 25 years

May 18 – September 8, 2024
Dorrance Galleries

Philadelphia (January 9, 2024) – The Philadelphia Museum of Art is thrilled to present Mary Cassatt at Work, the first large-scale exhibition of the artist’s work in the U.S. in a quarter century. The exhibition will run from May 18 through September 8, 2024.

Pennsylvania-born and a celebrated member of the French Impressionists, Mary Cassatt built a groundbreaking career through hard work and artistic vision. For six decades, Cassatt was a committed, professional artist, making the social, intellectual, and working lives of modern women a core subject of her prints, paintings, and pastels.  She once wrote: “Oh the dignity of work, give me the chance of earning my own living, five francs a day and self-respect.”  

Mary Cassatt at Work will present over 130 of her works in various media to show her evolving practice as an artist and demonstrate her commitment to the “serious work” of artmaking. It will present new findings about her materials and working methods—which were advanced and radical for her era—based on detailed technical studies of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s significant Cassatt holdings.  

“Art was Mary Cassatt’s life’s purpose and living,” said Sasha Suda, the George D. Widener Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “This exhibition will focus on Cassatt’s professionalism, her biography, and the wider Parisian world she inhabited.  It’s my hope that this exhibition will reshape contemporary conversations about gender, work, and artistic agency.”  

Mary Cassatt at Work will feature works from the PMA’s extensive collection, including some of Cassatt’s most celebrated paintings and prints, as well as loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Viginia Museum of Fine Arts, and private collections.

“We hope visitors come away with a sense of who Cassatt was and how carefully she constructed her identity as a working artist,” said curators Jennifer A. Thompson, The Gloria and Jack Drosdick Curator of European Painting and Sculpture and Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection, and Laurel Garber, The Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings. “With this exhibition, we’ve sought to reexamine the full breadth of Cassatt’s art through the lens of her creative enterprise and draw attention to her commitment to ceaseless experimentation and bold techniques."

Mary Cassatt at Work opens on May 18, 2024, and will be on view until September 8, 2024. A multimedia tour will be available, featuring audio, images, and videos. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. Following its run at the PMA, this exhibition will travel to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor.

Mary Cassatt at Work is made possible by the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions; Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky Installation and Exhibition Fund; Donna and Marvin Schwartz, with Waqas Wajahat, in honor of Timothy Rub; Gloria and Jack Drosdick Fund for Special Exhibitions; Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions; Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions; Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Fund for Exhibitions; Mr. and Mrs. S. Matthews V. Hamilton, Jr.; The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation; Samuel Everett Snider; Robbi and Bruce Toll; an anonymous donor; and other generous donors.

Sponsored by:


Funding for the catalogue is generously provided by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art and The Park Family.

Wyeth Foundation

About the Philadelphia Museum of Art:
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a national and international destination for art, but first, we are Philadelphia’s Museum of Art—for all the many diverse communities of the city. Through our collections, exhibitions, events, educational activities, celebrations, and more, the PMA is a storyteller, and we welcome everyone to be part of the story—our doors are wide open. To learn more, visit www.philamuseum.org.

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