610 (Breeskin 578)
Baby John Asleep, Sucking His Thumb
Alternate title(s): Enfant tétant son pouce; Maternidad; Maternité; Mère et enfant
c. 1909
Pastel on paper
26 x 21 7/8 in. (66.04 x 55.56 cm)
Inscribed lower right: Mary Cassatt
David A. and Catherine Straz Jr.

provenance / ownership history
Frédéric Mallet, Paris
to Mallet sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, May 20--22, 1920, #169, ill., as Enfant tétant son pouce
to Dr. Francisco Llobet, Buenos Aires, Argentina (possibly through André Schoeller, Paris)
to Llobet's daughter Ernestina Llobet-Llavallol, Buenos Aires, Argentina, by 1967
Galerie Schmit, Paris, likely on consignment from Llobet-Llavallol, by 1974, until at least 1977
Petersen Galleries, Beverly Hills, by 1978
Erwin Camras, Los Angeles; dates unknown (between 1977 and 1980)
Shimon Yakira, Los Angeles and Capetown, South Africa; dates unknown (between 1977 and 1980)
Ronald E. Spire, Beverly Hills; dates unknown (between 1977 and 1980)
Steven Straw, Newburyport, Massachusetts
to Straw sale, Phillips, Boston, May 2, 1980, #63, ill.
to George Harris, San Antonio, Texas (through Jay Maroney, New York)
to R. H. Love Galleries, Chicago, 1985
to Richard and Mary Jo Pfeil, Chicago, Illinois, and Naples, Florida, by 1991
to Sotheby's, New York, November 12, 1996, #3, ill.
David A. and Catherine Straz Jr., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by 1999

exhibition history
1924 Buenos Aires: #24, ill., as Maternité
1932 Asociación Amigos: #16, as Maternité
1933a Buenos Aires: no #, ill., as Maternité, lent by Francisco Llobet
1933b Buenos Aires: #7, ill., as Maternité and Maternidad, lent by Dr. Francisco Llobet
1974 Schmit Paris: #5, ill., as Mère et enfant
1977 Schmit Paris: #11, ill., as Mère et enfant
1992--94 Columbus GA: #18, ill., as Baby John Asleep, Sucking His Thumb
1999 Marquette: #9, ill., as Baby John Asleep, Sucking His Thumb, lent by collection of Catherine and David A. Straz Jr.

published references
Plus Ultra 1922: n.p., ill., as Maternité
Gerdts and Dearinger 1992: p. 12; p. 33, ill.; pp. 84--86, as Baby John Asleep, Sucking His Thumb
Carter, C. 1999: p. 16, as Baby John Asleep, Sucking His Thumb
Higonnet 1999: p. 46, as Baby John Asleep, Sucking His Thumb

commentary

Frédéric Mallet is likely Ernest Frédéric Mallet (1852–1937), a member of a prominent French banking family (Mallet Frères et Cie.). In 1923, the United States government presented Mallet with a Distinguished Service Cross in honor of his son Gérard, who was killed in action with the U.S. Infantry in 1918.

The information that Erwin Camras, Shimon Yakira, and Ronald E. Spire all owned Baby John Asleep, Sucking His Thumb is derived from the catalogue for the 1980 Phillips auction in which this picture was sold. Presumably all three men owned the work at some point between the time it was exhibited at Galerie Schmit in Paris in May–June 1977 and the Phillips auction in May 1980. Petersen Galleries of Beverly Hills, California, wrote to Adelyn Dohme Breeskin on March 14, 1978, to inform her that they owned the work at that date.[1]

PAI

[1] Jean Stern, Petersen Galleries, Beverly Hills, California, to Adelyn Dohme Breeskin, March 14, 1978, in Breeskin archive, Mary Cassatt Catalogue Raisonné Committee, Adelson Galleries, New York, N.Y.

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keywords:
 baby
 sleeping
 sucking finger
 mother
 embracing
 child
 sitting
 chair
 blond
 brunette
 white
 yellow
 blue
 dress
 shawl
 son
 boy
 woman
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