89 (Breeskin 90)
Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Alternate title(s): A Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child; La mère et l'enfant endormi; La toilette d'enfant; La toilette de l'enfant; Le bain; Mother About to Wash a Sleepy Child; The Bath; The Bath (La toilette de l'enfant); The Child's Bath; The Child's Bath (La toilette de l'enfant)
1880
Oil on canvas
39 7/16 x 25 7/8 in. (100.17 x 65.72 cm)
Inscribed lower left: Mary Cassatt/1880
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mrs. Fred Hathaway Bixby Bequest

provenance / ownership history
Possibly with Charles Ephrussi, Paris
on deposit at Durand-Ruel, Paris, c. March 1895 (Paris deposit #8638, Paris photo #627), from an unknown collector (possibly Charles Ephrussi)
to Durand-Ruel, New York, c. March--April 1895
to Alfred Atmore and Ada Brooks Pope, Cleveland, Ohio, and Farmington, Connecticut, 1895
to Ada Brooks Pope, 1913, by descent
to her daughter Theodate Pope (Mrs. John Wallace) Riddle, Farmington, Connecticut, 1920, by descent
John Levy Galleries, New York
to M. Knoedler & Co., New York, July 25, 1944 (stock #A 2943)
to Florence Green (Mrs. Fred Hathaway) Bixby, Long Beach, California, November 1946
to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California, 1962, by bequest

exhibition history
1895 Durand-Ruel NY: #9, as La toilette de l'enfant
1909 St Botolph Boston: #20, as La toilette de l'enfant, lent by Alfred Atmore Pope, Esq.
1951 Pasadena: #15, as The Bath, lent by Mr. and Mrs. Fred H. Bixby
1969 Joslyn Omaha: #3, ill., as The Bath, lent by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
1970 National Gallery DC: #21, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child, lent by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
1973--74 Newport CA: #5, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child, lent by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
1974 LACMA: #11, ill., as The Bath (La toilette de l'enfant)
1976--77 LACMA: #89, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
1979--80 Univ Michigan: #12, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child, lent by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
1990 Thyssen-Boremisza: #1, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child, lent by the LACMA
1998--99 Chicago AIC: #28, ill., as The Child's Bath (La toilette de l'enfant), lent by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Chicago, Boston, Washington)
2006--07 National Gallery London: #103, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child, lent by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (New York)

published references
NY Sun 1895: p. 7, as La toilette de l'enfant
Revue encyclopédique 1896: p. 852, as La toilette de l'enfant
Segard 1913: following p. 12, ill., as La toilette d'enfant
Edouard-Joseph 1930: p. 250, as La toilette de l'enfant
Monro and Monro 1948: p. 126, as La toilette de l'enfant
Chronique des arts 1963: p. 43, as Le bain
Seldis 1963: p. B2, seen in photograph captioned "John Van MacNair Views Mary's Cassatt's Painting, 'The Bath'"
Bullard 1972: pp. 15, 36; p. 37, color pl. 8, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Bullard 1973: p. 44, ill.; p. 75, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Boyle 1974a: p. 109; p. 111, ill., as A Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Seldis 1974: p. 60; p. 62, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Butterfield 1977: p. 44, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Yaegashi and Kashiwa 1978: p. 15; p. 16, ill.
Roudebush 1979: p. 20, ill.; p. 38, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Getlein 1980: p. 36, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Love 1980: pl. 5, ill.; p. 41, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Pollock 1980: pp. 13--14, 15; p. 44, ill.; p. 67, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Havemeyer, A. 1981: p. 59, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Teilman 1981: p. 94, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Rubinstein 1982: p. 134, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Gerdts 1984: p. 39, p. 42, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Kolb and Adhémar 1984: p. 39n9, as La mère et l'enfant endormi
Mathews 1984: p. 275n4; p. 276, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Robinson, S. 1984: p. 22, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Buettner 1986: pp. 16--17; p. 18, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Garb 1986: p. 74; p. 75, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Moffett 1986: p. 310, as "Breeskin 90"
Adler and Garb 1987: p. 82, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Mathews 1987: p. 55, ill.; p. 60, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Van Buren 1989: pp. 133--34, p. 137, ill.; p. 138, as Mother About to Wash a Sleepy Child
Gerdts 1990: p. 24; p. 25, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Effeny 1991: p. 22, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Fort and Quick 1991: p. 46, ill.; pp. 180--81, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Chessman 1993: pp. 244--46; p. 245, ill.; pp. 247--48, 249, 252, 255--56, 257, 337n28, 338n34, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Frascina et al 1993: p. 267; p. 268, pl. 241, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Constantino 1995: p. 10, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Garb 1998: p. 174, ill.; p. 176, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Pollock 1998: p. 186, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child; p. 188, as "the painting of 1880"; pp.190, 191; p. 193, ill.; p. 194, as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child
Riopelle 2006: p. 219, ill., as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child; p. 220, as "cats . . . 103"

commentary

Durand-Ruel's stock books from 1880–82 list a work titled Le[s] favoris (stock #2296) as having been purchased from the artist in April 1882.[1] While the title Le[s] favoris ("The Favorites") has been associated with Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child, it seems more likely to describe Mrs. Cassatt Reading to Her Grandchildren, which was purchased by Moïse Dreyfus at some point between December 20, 1881, and June 22, 1883.

Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child has also been identified as one of the Cassatt pictures owned by Charles Ephrussi (1849–1905). Born in Russia to a family of Jewish bankers, Ephrussi moved to Paris in 1871 and began to collect Japanese prints and then works by the Impressionists as well as by Puvis de Chavannes. According to an article by Philippe Kolb and Jean Adhémar, Ephrussi owned a work titled La mère et l'enfant endormi, which the authors suggest might be Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child.[2] No additional evidence has emerged to support this identification, but it seems possible due to the subject matter and subsequent ownership history. Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child is first solidly documented when deposited at Durand-Ruel, Paris, in March 1895 by an unknown collector. (It is interesting to note that Ephrussi placed a Degas pastel on deposit at Durand-Ruel in April 1895 and then sold the pastel back to Durand-Ruel in 1896.)[3] Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child was then included in the section of works available for purchase in the 1895 Cassatt retrospective at Durand-Ruel, New York, suggesting that the work was likely purchased from the person who deposited it at the gallery earlier in the year.

Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child was bought from the 1895 Cassatt exhibition at Durand-Ruel's New York gallery by Alfred Atmore Pope (1842–1913), a Cleveland industrialist.[4] Pope and his wife Ada retired to Hill-Stead, a country estate (and now a museum) in Farmington, Connecticut, designed by their daughter Theodate Pope Riddle (1867–1946). Mrs. Riddle, a close friend of the artist's, came to own Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child.

PAI

[1] This title is known only through a transcription of the Durand-Ruel stock book entry in the Breeskin archive, Mary Cassatt Catalogue Raisonné Committee, Adelson Galleries, New York, N.Y., where it is rendered as Le favoris.

[2] Philippe Kolb and Jean Adhémar, "Charles Ephrussi (1849–1905); Ses secrétaires: Laforgue, A. Renan, Proust; 'Sa' Gazette des Beaux-Arts," Gazette des Beaux-Arts (January 1984), p. 39n9. The source of their information on the mother and child painting owned by Ephrussi is not known.

[3] Ephrussi deposited the Degas pastel At the Milliner's (now Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) with Durand-Ruel, Paris, on April 24, 1895.

[4] Information regarding Pope's purchase according to Nancy Mowll Mathews, Mary Cassatt: A Life (New York: Villard, 1994), p. 231.

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keywords:
 mother
 child
 sleeping
 bathing
 water pitcher
 basin
 sitting
 chair
 white
 dress
 wallcovering
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