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26 June, 2013

Mary Cassatt
Quotations



"One thing I have learned, the absolute necessity for system in painting. Prepare your palette. ... Delacroix had a most elaborate palett & it is very evident the old masters had & did not indulge in one happy go lucky style."
- letter to Rose Lamb, 30 November 1892

"One thing I have learned, the absolute necessity for system in painting. Prepare your palette. ... Delacroix had a most elaborate palett & it is very evident the old masters had & did not indulge in one happy go lucky style."
- letter to Rose Lamb, 30 November 1892
 
"I, however, who belong to the founders of the Independent Exhibition must stick to my principles, our principles, which were, no jury, no medals, no awards. Out first exhibition was held in 1879 and was a protest against official exhibitions and not a grouping of artists with the same art tendencies. We have been since dubbed 'Impressionists' a name which might apply to Monet but can have no meaning when attached to Degas' name. Liberty is the first good in this world and to escape the tyranny of a jury is worth fighting for, surely no profession is so enslaved as ours."
- letter to Harrison Morris, 15 March 1904, on refusing an award from the Pennsylvania Academy
 
"The misunderstanding in art has arisen from the fact that forty years ago -- to be exact thirty-nine years ago -- when Degas and Monet, Renoir and I first exhibited, the public did not understand, only the 'élite' bought and time has proved their knowledge. Though the Public in those days did not understand, the artists did. ... Now the Public say -- the foreign public -- Degas and the others were laughed at; well, we will be wiser than they."
- letter to Ellen Mary Cassatt, 26 March 1913
 
"I then tried to explain to you my ideas, principles I ought to say, in regard to jurys of artists, I have never served because I could never reconcile it to my conscience to be the means of shutting the door in the face of a fellow painter. I think the jury system may lead, & in the case of the Exhibitions at the Carnegie Institute no doubt does lead to a high average, but in art what we want is the certainty that the one spark of original genius shall not be extinguished, that is better than average excellence, that is what will survive, what it is essential to foster--"
- letter to John W. Beatty, 5 September 1905
 
"At last, I could work with absolute independence without considering the opinion of a jury. I had already recognized who were my true masters. I admired Manet, Courbet and Degas. I hated conventional art-- I began to live."
- On joining the Impressionists
 
" Sometimes it made him [Degas] furious that he could not find a chink in my armor, and there would be months when we just could not see each other, and then something I painted would bring us together again."
 
"It is as well not to have too great an admiration for your master’s work. You will be in less danger of imitating him. "
 
"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? "
 
"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 used to go and flatten my nose against that window and absorb all I could of his art," she wrote to a friend. It changed my life. I saw art then as I wanted to see it."
- On Degas, in a letter to a friend
 
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