The Art Museum When I Was At The Asian Museum

883 Words Dec 12th, 2015 4 Pages
I was at the Asian Art Museum when I was facing in front of me Maternal Caress (Caresse Maternelle) by Mary Stevenson Cassatt. Though displayed in the special exhibit Looking East ­ How Japan Inspired Monet, Van Gogh, And Other Western Artists, the artwork was originally made in Paris and decades later found itself as a collection for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844 ­ 1926) was an American impressionist painter who, similarly to the most privileged artists of her generation (Henry James condescendingly called them the “White Marmorean Flock”), traveled to Europe in the late 1860s to pursue artistic training. She eventually moved permanently with her sister, Lydia and her parents to Paris where there were less institutional modes of oppression and more access to the contemporary world at the time of painting. With time, her oeuvre ­ now famously known for her portrayals of mothers and children ­ was recognized by her contemporaries, and she started to partake in the Impressionists’ Parisian exhibition from 1876 onwards. It is important to recognize, however, that this was fathomable for Cassatt because she was a white woman of upper­middle class and as Chadwick blatantly states, “Impressionism was equally an expression of the bourgeois family as a defense against the threat of rapid urbanization and rapid industrialization...” (232).
Caresse Maternelle was made in 1902, which is to say, at the turn of the century. To place this artwork in…
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