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Exhibition

Mary Cassatt at Work

Through September 8

A celebrated member of the French Impressionists, Pennsylvania-born Mary Cassatt challenged the conventional expectations of Philadelphia’s elite. In Paris, Cassatt committed herself to a career as a professional artist and made the social, intellectual, and working lives of modern women a core subject of her prints, paintings, and pastels. Though recognized in her lifetime for her intimate depictions of women and children, Cassatt has yet to be appreciated for her serious engagement with the realities of gender and labor in her portrayal of other traditionally feminine activities, such as embroidery, reading, or making social appearances.

These depictions lie at the heart of Mary Cassatt at Work, which will present over 130 diverse works that follow the artist’s evolving practice and demonstrate her interest in the “serious work” of artmaking. The exhibition will present new findings about the materials she used and her processes—which were advanced for her era—as it coincides with a detailed technical study of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s significant Cassatt holdings.

Mary Cassatt at Work is the first major showing of the artist’s oeuvre since 1998–99. By considering her professionalism, her biography, and the wider Parisian world she inhabited, a richer and more complex picture of Cassatt develops, inviting contemporary conversations about gender, work, and artistic agency.

Free Audio Guide

Enhance your experience of Mary Cassatt at Work by taking the audio tour during your visit. Hear from Cassatt in her own words, and quotes from letters written by Cassatt, her family, and close friends. You'll also hear commentary by the exhibition curators as they share Mary Cassatt's radical approach to working as a professional artist.

Please make sure to bring your headphones to listen to the tour on your own mobile device. For the best experience, download the free Smartify app on your iOS or Android mobile device.

Listen now


Tickets & Access

Mary Cassatt at Work is a separately ticketed exhibition. Tickets are for timed entry every thirty minutes from 11:00 a.m. until an hour and a half before close each day. Your timed ticket is for entry to the exhibition queue; entry wait times may be extended during higher volume moments, which include hours late in the day and weekends.

Virtual Queue
We are using a virtual queue system to manage the high demand for access to the exhibition space. To avoid visitors standing in a long physical queue, this virtual system allows guests to join a digital queue through their smartphone when they first arrive at the museum. Here are the steps:

  1. When you arrive at the museum, use your smartphone to scan the QR code at our welcome desks or on signs in the Great Stair Hall to join the virtual queue.
  2. The virtual queue will ask to you activate your place for the Cassatt exhibition for you and any additional guests. You will need to register your email and include a password.
  3. A timer on your smartphone will begin to count down as you explore other galleries at the museum.
  4. When the timer reaches zero, you can report back to the exhibition’s entrance in the Great Stair Hall.
  5. When you arrive at the exhibition we will scan your timer, then our Visitor Services team will check your Cassatt ticket to be admitted into the Dorrance Gallery.
  6. Once inside, we hope you enjoy the exhibition!

If you don’t have a smartphone, no problem! Connect with one of our Visitor Services staff members and we can set you up with a time to return for entry.


Member Benefits
Members receive unlimited access to Mary Cassatt at Work with their membership card, no tickets required. Member guest tickets must be booked in advance.

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Main Building

$35; museum admission included

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Supporters

Mary Cassatt at Work is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities; Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions; Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky Installation and Exhibition Fund; Donna and Marvin Schwartz, with Waqas Wajahat, in honor of Timothy Rub; Gloria and Jack Drosdick Fund for Special Exhibitions; Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions; Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions; The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Fund for Exhibitions; Mr. and Mrs. S. Matthews V. Hamilton, Jr.; Mrs. Henry F. Harris; The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation; Mr.* and Mrs. John A. Nyheim; Zoë S. Pappas; Mark and Robin Rubenstein; Samuel Everett Snider; Robbi and Bruce Toll; Women in Business Consortium; an anonymous donor; and other generous donors.



Sponsored by




Funding for the catalogue is generously provided by the Wyeth Foundation
for American Art and The Park Family.


This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.


Curators

Jennifer Thompson, Gloria and Jack Drosdick Curator of European Painting and Sculpture and Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection, and Laurel Garber, Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings

Curators

Jennifer Thompson, Gloria and Jack Drosdick Curator of European Painting and Sculpture and Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection; and Laurel Garber, Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings

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