The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Of the 55 painters who exhibited with the Impressionists over the 12
years of their group exhibitions, Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) was one of only
three women invited to participate. She was also the only American. The other
two women were Marie Bracquemond, whose husband was also a member of the group,
and Berthe Morisot, who was married to Edouard Manet’s brother. Cassatt’s
debut with the group took place at their fourth exhibit, in 1879. She also
participated in the exhibits of 1880, 1881, and 1886, the group’s last.
By then, Impressionism had more or less petered out in Paris and with this
eighth exhibit, the group disbanded. Cassatt was little affected, however.
Her reputation in both Paris and the United States had been secure well before
she had joined the group and within the group she had gained new supporters,
among them Edgar Degas and Paul Gauguin. In addition to the professional support
of her peers, she also had considerable financial support, both from her sales
of paintings and from her family.
Southgate MT. The Family. JAMA. 2005;293(17):2067. doi:10.1001/jama.293.17.2067