Sheldon Museum of Art Main Content

Cassatt, Mary

Mary Say Lawrence1898Pastel on paper21 1/2 × 18 1/8U-3087.1979University of Nebraska–Lincoln, gift of Mary Riepma Ross Mary CassattMary Cassatt settled permanently in Paris in 1874. While there, she encountered the pastels of Edgar Degas and soon began a serious exploration of the medium. Cassatt made this portrait in New York during her first trip to the United States in over two decades. The subject, Mary Say Lawrence, was the daughter of Cyrus J. Lawrence, a New York financier who became Cassatt’s devoted patron for the remainder of his life. Scholars credit Cassatt’s pastels of the Lawrence family with initiating the artist’s American portrait career. American 18441926Le Mesnil-Théribus, FranceAllegheny, PA