Mary Cassatt was truly a pioneer in the art world, paving the way for women to branch out beyond the "female domain." Her art career began in 1872, when her first painting was exhibited in Paris. During her career, she was deeply appreciated in France, but largely ignored in her native United States, even though she received her artist's training in Philadelphia.
This book is a collection of her work and if they knew nothing about the artist, most people would be able to determine that the artist was female. Most of the scenes in the book depict a woman doing something typical of women in the nineteenth century. Women are holding children, giving them baths; children are posing for portraits or women attending social events. In the rare occasions that men appear, they are doing "men work" and are extraneous to the action.
One of the true trailblazers of the women's movement, Cassatt herself never realized the significance of her achievements. Shortly before her death in 1926, she was quoted as saying, "After all, a woman's vocation in life is to bear children." However, despite her thoughts she did break an enormous amount of new ground in the changing role of women. By demonstrating that women could create quality art, she helped make it possible for women to gain opportunities in all walks of life. This book is a sound tribute to that fact.