May Picture This! Mary Cassat-2018


Mary Cassatt  1844-1926

Mary Cassatt was an American Impressionist painter, but lived in France for much of her life. She lived in a time when it was unsusual for a woman to become famous for her paintings (although there were many talented women artists at the time).  It was also unusual for a woman to have a profession instead of staying home with her family. In fact, Mary Cassatt chose painting over family. She never married and never had children of her own.

Mary Cassatt began to study painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts when she was just 15. She began to explore on her own, the paintings of the old masters. She moved to Paris to privately study with master painters because at the time women were not allowed to attend art school. But this did not stop Mary Cassatt. She continued to learn and self teach.

She worked very hard for many, many years before her work was taken seriously. Eventually she was able to exhibit her work with other Impressionist and Post Impressionist artists of the time both in Europe and in America.

The main subject of her paintings were children, sometimes alone and sometimes with their Mothers. She had a gift for capturing the unspoken love in the mother-child relationship in her paintings which makes her a fantastic artist to explore this time of year!

Key words

Impressionism – the art of painting out of doors and spontaneously ‘on the spot” rather than in a studio from sketches. Many impressionist subjects were landscapes and scenes of everyday life.


Mother’s Day Interview and Mary Cassatt Project

Mary Cassatt loved to paint mothers and their children together.

  • What is your favorite thing that you and your Mom do together in the morning?
  • Is there something special that your mom does for you at bedtime that makes you feel cozy and loved? What is it?
  • What things do you like to do with your mom on the weekend?
  • Draw a picture of you and your Mother doing something you love.


  • Print out with questions and lines to write in answers.
  • Drawing paper and crayons or pencil colors.