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Mary Cassatt Quotes

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926)


Mary Cassatt - The Banjo Lesson

Mary Cassatt print "The Banjo Lesson" signed in pencil by the artist. Originally published in 1894.

Courtesy Library of Congress

The first American Impressionist artist, Mary Cassatt was born in Pittsburgh and lived in France. Mary Cassatt was influenced especially by Degas. Under Mary Cassatt's influence, many Americans collected Impressionist art.

Selected Mary Cassatt Quotations

• There's only one thing in life for a woman; it's to be a mother.... A woman artist must be ... capable of making primary sacrifices.

• I think that if you shake the tree, you ought to be around when the fruit falls to pick it up.

• Why do people so love to wander? I think the civilized parts of the World will suffice for me in the future.

• I am independent! I can live alone and I love to work.

• I hated conventional art. I began to live.

• I have touched with a sense of art some people – they felt the love and the life. Can you offer me anything to compare to that joy for an artist?

• Americans have a way of thinking work is nothing. Come out and play they say.

• American women have been spoiled, treated and indulged like children; they must wake up to their duties.

• There are two ways for a painter: the broad and easy one or the narrow and hard one.

• If painting is no longer needed, it seems a pity that some of us are born into the world with such a passion for line and color.

• Cezanne is one of the most liberal artists I have ever seen. He prefaces every remark with Pour moi it is so and so, but he grants that everyone may be as honest and as true to nature from their convictions; he doesn't believe that everyone should see alike.

• I have not done what I wanted to, but I tried to make a good fight.

Degas to Mary Cassatt: Most women paint as though they are trimming hats. Not you.

Edourd Degas about Mary Cassatt: I don't admit that a woman draws that well!

• [Quoted in The American Woman's Almanac, Louise Bernikow] Mary Cassatt's visit home, long after she had become famous in Europe, was reported in the Philadelphia newspaper as the arrival of "Mary Cassatt, sister of Mr. Cassatt, President of the Pennsylvania Railroad, who has been studying painting in France and owns the smallest Pekingese dog in the world."

Related Resources for Mary Cassatt

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2009. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Mary Cassatt Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/mary_cassatt.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)

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