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Home | Articles | Portrait of Mrs. Havemeyer and Her Daughter

MARY CASSATT (American, 1844–1926)
Portrait of Mrs. Havemeyer
and Her Daughter Electra, 1895
Pastel on wove paper
24 x 30H inches
Courtesy of Shelburne Museum,
Shelburne, VT.

Three letters written by impressionist painter Mary Cassatt to Shelburne Museum-founder, Electra Havemeyer Webb, were recently discovered by the museum’s chief curator, Henry Joyce, inside a book. The letters will be displayed in the Electra Havemeyer Webb Memorial Gallery at the Shelburne through October 27, 2002, beneath a pastel portrait by Cassatt, Portrait of Mrs. Havemeyer and Her Daughter Electra (1895), shown here.

The relationship between Mary Cassatt and the Havemeyer family is of great significance to the story of collecting modern art in America. Henry O. and Louisine Havemeyer, Electra’s parents, were among the first major American collectors of French Impressionist painting—including works by Degas, Pissarro, and Monet—guided in large part by the advice of their good friend Cassatt. The correspondence conveys a close friendship between the artist and the family, and increases Shelburne’s collection of original Cassatt-Havemeyer letters to twenty-two.

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