656 (Breeskin 595)
The Crochet Lesson
Alternate title(s): Les deux soeurs; Jeune femme en corage blanc; Jeune femme en corsage blanc et fillette en robe rouge; Jeune femme en corsage bleu et fillette en robe rouge; Jeune fille en corsage bleu et fillette en robe rouge; Two Sisters; Young Woman with Blue Corsage and Girl in Red Dress
c. 1913
Pastel on paper
29 7/8 x 25 1/4 in. (75.88 x 64.14 cm)
Inscribed lower left: Mary Cassatt
Private collection

provenance / ownership history
From the artist
to Durand-Ruel, Paris, November 5, 1913 (Paris stock #10438, Paris photo #7762)
to Durand-Ruel, New York, April 1, 1920 (N.Y. stock #4435)
private collection, Switzerland
Palais Galliéra, Paris, November 29, 1962, #20, ill., as Jeune femme en corsage bleu et fillette en robe rouge
International Galleries, Chicago, Illinois
Parke-Bernet, New York, October 20, 1966, #53, ill., as Jeune femme en corsage bleu et fillette en robe rouge
to Melvin and Estelle Gelman, Washington, D.C.
to private collection, by descent
to Sotheby's, New York, May 13, 1992, #65, ill.
to private collection

exhibition history
1914 Durand-Ruel Paris: #25, as Jeune femme en corsage bleu et fillette en robe rouge
1920 Durand-Ruel NY: #23, as Les deux soeurs
1932 Durand-Ruel NY: #9, as Jeune femme en corsage blanc et fillette en robe rouge
1965 International Galleries Chicago: #17, ill., as Young Woman with Blue Corsage and Girl in Red Dress
1970 National Gallery DC: #76, ill., as The Crochet Lesson, lent by the Melvin Gelman Collection
1981 Isetan Japan: #47, ill., as The Crochet Lesson, lent by the Gelman Collection

published references
Field 1920: p. 33, ill., as Two Sisters
Arts & Decoration 1921: cover, ill.
Salinger 1930: p. 10, as Jeune femme en corsage blanc
Bullard 1972: p. 82; p. 83, color pl. 31, ill., as The Crochet Lesson
Bullard 1973: p. 47, ill.; p. 76, as The Crochet Lesson
Roudebush 1979: p. 80; p. 86, ill., as The Crochet Lesson
Mathews 1984: letter: MC to Louisine Havemeyer, December 4 [1913], p. 311, as one of "seven pastels to town"
Van Buren 1989: pp. 149, 201n96, 202n99, as The Crochet Lesson
Dillon 1990: p. 109, as The Crochet Lesson
Effeny 1991: pp. 128, 138; p. 139, ill., as The Crochet Lesson
Ivinski 1997: p. 11, as The Crochet Lesson

commentary

The Crochet Lesson is one of the seven pastels Cassatt mentioned in a letter to Louisine Havemeyer on December 4, 1913, "I brought seven pastels to town [to Galeries Durand-Ruel, Paris], four were large; a nude boy and his Mother. They were in many respects the best I have done, more freely handled & brilliant in color. I kept one only."[1]

Washington, D.C., native Melvin Gelman (1918–1978) led the Gelman Construction Company, founded by his father in 1925. A graduate of George Washington University, Gelman remained closely associated with his alma mater, where the university library was named after him in 1980.

PAI

[1] MC to Louisine Havemeyer, Villa Angeletto, Grasse, France, December 4, 1913, Cassatt and Her Circle: Selected Letters, ed. Nancy Mowll Mathews (New York: Abbeville Press, 1984), p. 311. Six of these works were purchased by Durand-Ruel on November 5, 1913: Mother and Son on a Chaise Longue, Daughter Leaning over Them, Young Girl with Long Brown Hair in a Rose-red Dress, The Crochet Lesson, Nude Baby in Mother's Lap Resting Her Right Arm on the Back of a Chair, Dark-haired Baby Smiling Up at Her Mother, and Half-length Figure of a Nude Young Woman. Cassatt kept one picture, Mother in a Striped Head Scarf Embraced by Her Baby, which she sold to Louisine Havemeyer in 1915.

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keywords:
 crocheting
 girl
 woman
 blue
 red
 dress
 sister
 sitting
 looking down
 needlework
 brunette
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