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American Prints - before 1950

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In the Opera Box (No. 3)

circa 1880
19th century
30.6 cm x 26.8 cm (12 1/16 in. x 10 9/16 in.)

Mary Cassatt (Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, 1844 - 1926, Le Mésnil-Theribus, France) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Aquatint and soft-ground etching with open bite, brush bite, and burnishing
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Susan Garwood in memory of Sue Ann Reagan, 2004
Accession Number: 2004.98

Pittsburgh-born Cassatt moved to Paris to seriously study art and became an integral part of the impressionist circle. She was particularly close to Edgar Degas who genuinely admired her work and introduced her to etching, encouraging her to experiment with acquatint and soft-ground etching, which she used to great effect in this print to flatten and abstract the space of a theater balcony. Eschewing the landscapes typical of her colleagues and their Barbizon precursors, Cassatt trained her sight on the modern middle-class women who surrounded her and their occupations – child rearing and leisure activities, such as the theater – without sentiment or apology.

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