547 (Breeskin 484)
Antoinette's Caress
Alternate title(s): Mother and Child
c. 1909
Pastel on paper
28 x 22 in. (71.12 x 55.88 cm)
Inscribed lower right: Mary Cassatt
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Gift of Mrs. Houghton P. Metcalf, Sr.

provenance / ownership history
From the artist
to Durand-Ruel, Paris, October 15, 1909 (Paris stock #9161, Paris photo #6601)
to Sarah Choate (Mrs. J. Montgomery) Sears, October 11, 1910
to her daughter Helen Sears (Mrs. J. D. Cameron) Bradley, Southboro, Massachusetts
to Parke-Bernet, New York, December 10--11, 1947, #81, ill., as Mother and Child
Katharine H. (Mrs. Houghton P.) Metcalf, Providence, Rhode Island, and Middleburg, Virginia
to the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design

exhibition history
no known exhibitions

published references
Art Digest 1947: p. 24, ill., as Mother and Child


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.[1] 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) is the subject of Cassatt's 1907 Portrait of Helen Sears. Helen married James Donald Cameron Bradley in 1913, settling in Southboro, Massachusetts, near Boston.

Katharine H. Metcalf (1897–1993) and her husband Houghton P. Metcalf, a textile company executive, raised thoroughbred horses on their farm in Middleburg, Virginia, and supported the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.


[1] 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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