This blog post is part one of three artist timelines. We have selected six of the most influencial female artists spanning from 1844-2018 and will be writing about their lives and work. Read on to learn about the first two artists, Mary Cassatt and Georgia O'Keeffe.
Mary Cassatt was born in Pennsylvania and fell in love with painting at a young age. Although her family was not supportive as her career as an artist (at the time women were encouraged to be a stay at home mother) she enrolled in art school at age 16. While attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, other students and teachers were discouraging and didn’t allow her to reach her full potential, so Cassatt headed to Europe. After facing many obstacles, Cassatt ended up settling in Paris to study the work of master artists. It was in Paris where she first met Edward Degas and fell in love with his work. His paintings, along with others in the Impressionism movement, inspired Cassatt to develop a style of her own. Many of Cassatt's works were portraits, unlike landscapes which were more popular at the time. She liked to explore ideas of femininity and motherhood. She also chose to create more candid portrait, as opposed to the posed and controlled portraits of the time, to show honesty in her art. At the end of her life, Cassatt went blind and passed away in 1926. Cassatt’s paintings are considered masterpieces and can be viewed in museums all over the world.
Georgia O'Keeffe : 1887-1986