A Woman in Black at the Opera,
c. 1877–78


Scope of the Material
The Mary Cassatt Catalogue Raisonné Committee remains engaged in the attempt to identify and record every exhibition in which at least one oil painting, pastel, or watercolor by Cassatt is known to have been included. Of course, it is unlikely that any such project will ever be complete given the hundreds of international museums and galleries that have featured her pictures for more than a century as well as the ephemerality of much exhibition-related documentation. Nonetheless, the archive assembled here represents the most comprehensive effort, to date, to trace the exhibition history of Cassatt's oeuvre.

Information gleaned from exhibition documentation provides clues important in the preparation of a catalogue raisonné. Because Cassatt infrequently inscribed works with dates and because she is not known to have recorded dates in any other form, exhibitions held during her active career (1868–1915) supply, at minimum, a date before which certain works must have been completed. For example, it is not known precisely when many of the pictures shown by Cassatt in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1879, 1880, 1881, and 1886 were created, but the appearance of each work for the first time in one of these exhibitions suggests a date by which that work was completed.

Moreover, exhibition catalogues and brochures often include useful information regarding ownership. Even today, in an era of increased anonymity on the part of art collectors, many owners choose to be listed by name in published exhibition materials. In other cases, such as when we don't know precisely who owned a picture during a certain period, the work's exhibition history can provide useful information as to whether the picture remained in France at that moment or whether it had been sent to the United States, for instance.

In addition to assembling this exhibition history, a significant effort has been made to identify precisely which work or works were on view in each individual exhibition. In many cases, these identifications differ significantly from the identifications made in previously published materials on Cassatt. Two sources have proved especially important in this task: Durand-Ruel photographs and critical reviews.

After the New York branch of Durand-Ruel went out of business, around 1950, Adelyn Dohme Breeskin purchased a set of photographs used by that gallery to document inventory. These photographs are marked with the original French titles assigned to the pictures as well as with stock or consignment numbers. Because Durand-Ruel supplied works to the majority of American exhibitions that included Cassatt pictures from around 1895 through the 1920s, it is possible to identify most of the pictures exhibited in these years through a combined consideration of Durand-Ruel titles and sales information.

Furthermore, contemporary reviews of exhibitions held during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have proved enormously useful in determining which Cassatt works were shown in exhibitions. Because newspapers and journals did not regularly include illustrations with their reviews until the 1910s, critics often included detailed descriptions of pictures in their comments. While critical reviews and photographic illustrations published after the 1910s remain important in the identification of exhibited works, authors of these later reviews did not usually describe the works on view in such detail.

In a few cases, the Cassatt Committee has not yet identified certain exhibited works, especially when more than one work shares a single title, such as Mother and Child or After the Bath. These unidentified pictures are not yet searchable in the catalogue. We hope at some future point to include a list of these works.

Full Exhibition List by Venue
This section contains a complete list of exhibitions in which Mary Cassatt's work has been shown, organized alphabetically by the name of the venue. Multiple exhibitions mounted at the same venue are organized chronologically. Click on any entry to view a gallery of all the Cassatt works shown at that exhibition.

Full Exhibition List by Date
This section contains a complete list of exhibitions in which Mary Cassatt's work has been shown, organized chronologically. Multiple exhibitions mounted in the same year are organized alphabetically by the name of the venue. Click on any entry to view a gallery of all the Cassatt works shown at that exhibition.

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