Women’s Work:
The Mary Cassatt Exhibit
at the Academy Art Museum

The Academy Art Museum (AAM) in Easton demonstrates why Talbot County is the Arts Capital of the Maryland’s Eastern Shore with their latest exhibition, Mary Cassatt: Labor and Leisure and accompanying exhibit Labor and Leisure in the Permanent Collection, which includes works from the AAM’s permanent collection. The show is on display January 18 through April 15, 2023.

About Mary Cassatt: Labor and Leisure

The AAM describes the artist quite powerfully, stating that “Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926) is undoubtedly one of the greatest American artists in history, contributing subtle yet powerful and lucid observations of women’s daily lives, with a particular focus on the tender moments between mothers and their children, presenting them as artistic subjects worthy of full, nuanced consideration.”

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Under the Horse-Chestnut Tree, 1896-97, Aquatint and drypoint on paper, Courtesy of Adelson Gallery

The exhibit includes Cassatt’s depictions of domestic labor and recreation and underlines the multifaceted relationship between women and society at the time. On exhibit are important etchings, aquatints and oils on loan from the New York Public Library, Adelson Gallery New York, and the High Museum of Art, as well as works from the Museum’s Permanent collection, the show offers a look into Cassatt’s evolving style and influences in art-making, from Japanese printmaking to the Impressionists, and invites viewers to consider the relationship between the women she depicts and the multi-layered societal forces at play.

According to AAM curator Mehves Lelic, “This exhibition features several of Cassatt’s best-known etchings, such as In the Omnibus and the Banjo Lesson, among other works, as well as an oil sketch and a state of a print that gives insight into the artist’s process. The title, Labor and Leisure, highlights the intertwined nature of domestic work and recreation for women of the time. Cassatt’s observations of her subjects present a full, dignified and profound picture of life in this sphere. The exhibition also gives viewers an opportunity to consider Cassatt’s diverse and changing influences throughout her career, from Impressionism to Japanese woodblock printing.”

An Evening with National Portrait Gallery Curator of Prints and Drawings, Robyn Asleson

On Friday, March 31, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. the AAM will host a free program featuring Robyn Asleson, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Portrait Gallery, who will speak about Mary Cassatt’s extraordinary life and work, her take on domestic imagery and her support of women’s suffrage, as well as discussing many of Cassatt’s important works on view in the exhibit, including The Banjo Lesson, In the Omnibus, and Under the Horse Chestnut Tree. The lecture is part of the Kittredge-Wilson lecture series made possible by the generous support of Paul Wilson.

Labor and Leisure in the Permanent Collection

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), Tibetan Garden Song, 1985 – 1986, Cello, Chrome-Plated Washtub, Glycerine, Chinese Scrollmaker’s Brush, Mirrored Ple, Gift of Drs. Donald and Ruth Saff in Honor of Anne and Philip Simon

Complimenting Mary Cassatt: Labor and Leisure, the AAM is including works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection that present diverse and sometimes intertwined depictions of work and play. According to the AAM, the exhibit is “a counterpoint to Cassatt’s delicate interpretations of labor at home and in carefully composed social settings, Labor and Leisure in the Permanent Collection seeks to inspire conversations about the staggering range of human toil and recreation and expands on the arc of these two concepts from the late 16th century to the present day”. The show includes works by a wide range of artists, including Paul Cezanne, Hendrick Goltzius, David Hockney, Beth van Hoesen, Tom Miller, and Robert Rauschenberg.

About the Academy Art Museum

As the premier art museum on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the Academy Art Museum presents high-quality exhibitions and a full range of art classes for visitors of all ages. Past exhibitions include artists such as James Turrell, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Pat Steir and Richard Diebenkorn. Their permanent collection focuses on works on paper by American and European artists including recent acquisitions by Graciela Iturbide and Zanele Muholi. Arts educational programing ranges from life drawing to digital art instruction, and lunchtime and cocktail hour concerts, lectures and special art events, featuring their Fall Craft Show celebrating 25 years. AAM also provides arts education to school children from the region and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Location: 106 South Street, Easton, Maryland

Winter Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Thursday & Friday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. Closed Mondays and Federal holidays.

Admission: Free

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