196 (Breeskin 156)
Emmie and Her Child
Alternate title(s): Emmy and Her Child; Maternité; Maternity; Mère et enfant; Mother and Child; Mother and Child (Emmie); Mother and Child (Mère et enfant); Woman and Child
c. 1893
Oil on canvas
35 1/8 x 25 1/8 in. (89.85 x 64.45 cm)
Inscribed lower left: Mary Cassatt
The Roland P. Murdock Collection, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas

provenance / ownership history
Dr. George Viau, Paris, by 1903
to Viau sale, Galeries Durand-Ruel, Paris, March 4, 1907, #9, ill., as Maternité
to Sarah Choate (Mrs. J. Montgomery) Sears (through Durand-Ruel, Paris)
to her daughter Helen Sears (Mrs. J. D. Cameron) Bradley, Southboro, Massachusetts, by 1941
J. A. Davidson; placed on consignment with M. Knoedler & Co., New York, December 11, 1950 (Knoedler consignment #CA3759)
to Louise C. Murdock Estate, Wichita, Kansas, June 1953 (through M. Knoedler & Co., New York)
to the Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas, 1953

exhibition history
1903 Bernheim-Jeune Paris: #1, as Mère et enfant, lent by George Viau
1926--27 Chicago AIC: #31, as Woman and Child
1928 Carnegie Institute: #14, #15, or #16, as Mother and Child
1939 MFA Boston: #9, ill., as Maternity
1941--42 Baltimore Museum: #62, as Mother and Child, lent by Mrs. J. Cameron Bradley
1954 Chicago AIC: #17, ill., as Mother and Child
1955 Des Moines: #7, ill., as Mother and Child, lent by Wichita Art Museum
1957 Wildenstein NY: #20, ill., as Mother and Child, lent by the Wichita Art Museum
1970 Met Museum NY: #168, ill., as Mother and Child
1984 Coe Kerr NY: #21, ill., as Emmie and Her Child, lent by the Wichita Art Museum
1998--99 Chicago AIC: #52, ill., as Mother and Child (Mère et enfant), lent by the Wichita Art Museum (Chicago, Boston, Washington)
2006--07 National Gallery London: #41, ill., as Mother and Child, lent by the Wichita Art Museum (Boston, London)

published references
Gazette Drouot 1907a: n.p., as Maternité
Gazette Drouot 1907b: n.p., as Maternité
Pica 1907: p. 2, ill.
Studio 1907: p. 239, as Maternité
Pittsburgh Index 1928: p. 12, ill., as Mother and Child
Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph 1928: n.p, ill., as Mother and Child
Venturi 1939: p. 125, as "un tableau non fini"
Monro and Monro 1948: p. 125, as Maternity
Time 1953: p. 93, ill., as Mother and Child
Life 1954: p. 99, ill., as Mother and Child
Richardson 1954: p. 61, as Mother and Child
Arts 1956: p. 13, ill., as Mother and Child
Eliot 1957: p. 126; p. 127, ill., as Mother and Child;
Pierson and Davidson 1960: p. 300, ill., as Mother and Child
Monro and Monro 1964: p. 91, as Mother and Child
Carson 1966: p. 85; p. 86, ill., as Mother and Child
Newman 1966: p. 46, ill., as Mother and Child
Sweet 1966: pl. 16, ill.; p. 138, as Mother and Child
Bullard 1972: p. 46; p. 47, color pl. 13, ill., as Emmie and Her Child
Wichita 1972: pp. 25--27; pp. 27, 114, ill., as Mother and Child
Boyle 1974a: p. 14, ill; pp. 109--10, as Emmie and Her Child
Hale, N. 1975: pp. 140, 149, 167; following p. 192, ill.; p. 311, as Emmy and Her Child
Henkes 1977: n.p., ill. as Mother and Child
Young 1977a: p. 25, ill., as Mother and Child
Yaegashi and Kashiwa 1978: p. 31; p. 32, ill.
Munro 1979: p. 69, ill., as Mother and Child
Roudebush 1979: p. 47, ill.; p. 56, as Mother and Child
Getlein 1980: p. 70, ill., as Emmie and Her Child
Love 1980: pl. 10, ill.; pp. 82--83, as Mother and Child or Emmie and Her Child
Pollock 1980: p. 14; p. 53, ill.; p. 69, as Emmie and Her Child
Havemeyer, A. 1981: cover, ill., as Mother and Child
Teilman 1981: p. 96; p. 97, ill., as Emmy and Her Child
Rubinstein 1982: p. 134, as Emmie and Her Child
Seldin 1984: n.p., fig. 21, ill., as Emmie and Her Child
Gordon 1985: p. 46, ill., as Emmie and Her Child
Berry-Hill 1986: p. 106, as Emmie and Her Child
Gregory and Lyon 1987: p. 51, ill., as Emmie and Her Child
Mathews 1987: p. 72; p. 73, ill.; p. 75, as Mother and Child
Van Buren 1989: pp. 133--34, 138, 140, as Emmy and Her Child
Constantino 1995: p. 10, as Emmie and Her Child
Nochlin 1997: p. 64, as Emmie and Her Child
Ross, N. 1997: Pollock 1998
Shapiro 1998: p. 60, ill.; pp. 63, 77, as Mother and Child
Robinson, J. 1999: p. 30, ill., as Mother and Child
Shaw-Eagle 1999: p. D1, ill.; p. D2, as Mother Holding a Child in Her Arms [mislabeled]
Hirshler 2006: pp. 84, 86, as "cat. 41"; p. 89, ill., as Mother and Child

commentary

Based on a Durand-Ruel photograph in her possession, Adelyn Breeskin believed that Durand-Ruel, Paris, sold Emmie and Her Child in 1899 to Dr. George Viau (1855–1939), a Parisian dentist who collected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pictures.[1] The Wichita Art Museum, however, when researching their 1972 Catalogue of the Roland P. Murdock Collection, informed Mrs. Breeskin that Durand-Ruel had no information about the painting prior to 1907, when the firm served as an agent in purchasing the work from the Viau sale for Sarah Choate Sears. Viau, although he owned four pictures by Cassatt, is not known to have purchased any works directly from Durand-Ruel. It may be that the photograph of Emmie and Her Child, formerly in Breeskin's possession, was taken in Paris in 1907 before the gallery shipped the painting to Sears in the United States, but no such image has been located in her files, and she did not record any stock or deposit numbers from that photograph.

Sarah Choate Sears (1858–1935) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Like her friends Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, Sears was an artist. In 1877, she married Joshua Montgomery Sears, who at one point is said to have been the second-largest individual real estate owner and the largest taxpayer in Boston.[2] Mrs. Sears bore two children and remained highly active in the arts, continuing to work in watercolor and pastel. Eventually she branched out into avant-garde photography, becoming involved with Alfred Stieglitz's Photo-secession group.

Sears's daughter Helen (1889–1966) was portrayed by Cassatt in the 1907 work Portrait of Helen Sears. Helen married James Donald Cameron Bradley in 1913, settling in Southboro, Massachusetts, near Boston.

PAI

[1] Although Viau's first name has come to be rendered frequently as "Georges," most references to him dating before the mid-twentieth century spell his first name "George."

[2] Daniel P. Toomey, Massachusetts of Today: A Memorial of the State, Historical and Biographical, Issued for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago (Boston: Columbia Publishing, 1892), p. 285.

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