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About This Artwork
The Child's Bath, 1893
Oil on canvas
100.3 x 66.1 cm (39 1/2 x 26 in.)
Signed lower left: "Mary Cassatt"
Robert A. Waller Fund, 1910.2
Not on Display
The only American artist to exhibit her work with the French Impressionists, Mary Cassatt was first invited to show with the group by Edgar Degas in 1877. By that time, she had become disenchanted with traditional academic painting. Like her friend Degas, Cassatt concentrated on the human figure in her Impressionist works, particularly on sensitive yet unsentimental portrayals of women and children. The Child’s Bath, with its striking and unorthodox composition, is one of Cassatt’s masterworks. In it she employed unconventional devices such as cropped forms, bold patterns and outlines, and a flattened perspective, all of which derived from her study of Japanese woodblock prints. The lively patterns play off one another and serve to accentuate the nakedness of the child, whose vulnerable white legs are as straight as the lines of the woman’s striped dress. The elevated vantage point permits the viewer to observe, but not participate in, this most intimate scene. Cassatt’s composition thereby reinforces her subject: the tender absorption of a woman with a child.
— Entry, Essential Guide, 2013, p. 40.
Paris, Galeries Durand-Ruel, Exposition de Tableaux, Pastels et Gravures de Mary Cassatt, Nov.-Dec. 1893, cat. 1, as La Toilette de l’Enfant.
New York City, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exposition of Paintings, Pastels and Etchings by Miss Mary Cassatt, Apr. 16-30, 1895, cat. 21, as La Toilette.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Sixty-Seventh Annual Exhibition, Jan. 10-Feb. 22, 1898, cat. 62, as The Toilet, lent by Messrs. Durand-Ruel and Sons.
Cincinnati Museum Association, Seventh Annual Exhibition of American Art in the Art Museum, May 19-July 9, 1900, cat. 13, as La Toilette, lent by M. Durand-Ruel, New York.
New York City, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exhibition of Paintings and Pastels by Mary Cassatt, Nov. 5-21, 1903, cat. 6, as La Toilette.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Inaugural Exhibition, Jan. 7-Feb. 7, 1915, cat. 151, as The Toilet.
Art Institute of Chicago, Memorial Collection of the Works of Mary Cassatt, Dec. 21, 1926-Jan. 24, 1927, cat. 29, as The Toilet.
Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, A Memorial Exhibition of the Work of Mary Cassatt, Mar. 15-Apr. 15, 1928, cat. 38 or 39, as The Toilet.
Art Institute of Chicago, A Survey of American Art, July 21-Oct. 9, 1932, as La Toilette.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, Exhibition of American Painting from 1860 until Today, June 23-Oct. 4, 1937, cat. 27, as The Toilet.
Brooklyn Museum, Leaders of American Impressionism: Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, John H. Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, Oct. 1937, cat. 22, as La Toilette.
New York City, Museum of Modern Art, Art in Our Time, May 1-Sept. 25, 1939, cat. 48, as The Toilet.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California, Painting Today and Yesterday in the United States, June 5-Sept. 1, 1941, cat. 23, as La Toilette.
Baltimore Museum of Art, Mary Cassatt, Nov. 28, 1941-Jan. 11, 1942, cat. 25, as The Toilet.
New York City, Wildenstein Company, Oct. 29-Dec. 6, 1947, A Loan Exhibition of Mary Cassatt for the Benefit of the Goddard Neighborhood Center, cat. 25, p. 32, as The Toilet.
Des Moines Art Center, June-July, 1948, Nineteenth and Twentieth Century European and American Art, cat. 16, as La Toilette.
Springfield, Mass., Museum of Fine Arts, Fifteen Fine Paintings, Oct. 7-Nov. 7, 1948, no cat., as La Toilette.
New York City, Wildenstein and Company, Landmarks in American Art, 1670-1950, Feb. 26-Mar. 28, 1953, cat. 38, as La Toilette.
Art Institute of Chicago, Sargent, Whistler and Mary Cassatt, Jan. 14-Feb. 25, 1954, cat. 19, as The Bath.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition, Apr. 22-May 3, 1956, cat. 119, as The Bath.
Milwaukee, Brooks Memorial Union, Marquette University, Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Exhibition, Festival of the American Arts, Apr. 22-May 3, cat. 12, as The Bath.
Detroit Institute of Arts, Painting in America, The Story of 450 Years, Apr. 23-June 9, 1957, cat. 122, as The Bath.
New York City, M. Knoedler and Company, The Paintings of Mary Cassatt, Feb. 1-26, 1966, cat. 21, as The Bath.
New York City, Whitney Museum of American Art, Art of the United States: 1670-1966, Sept. 28-Nov. 27, 1966, cat. 39, as The Bath.
Omaha, Joslyn Art Museum, Mary Cassatt Among the Impressionists, Apr. 10-June 1, 1978, cat. 4, as The Bath (La Toilette).
New York City, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nineteenth-Century America: Paintings and Sculpture, Apr. 16-Sept. 7, 1970, cat. 169, as La Toilette.
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Mary Cassatt, 1844-1926, Sept. 27-Nov. 8, 1970, cat. 49, as The Bath.
Newport Beach, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Mary Cassatt 1844-1926, Dec. 12, 1973-Jan. 20, 1974, cat. 7, ill., as The Bath.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mary Cassatt at Home, Aug. 5-Sept. 24, 1978, cat. 19, as The Bath.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, A New World, Masterpieces of American Painting, 1790-1910, Sept. 7-Nov. 13, 1983, cat. 94; traveled to Washington, D.C., Corcoran Art Gallery, Dec. 7, 1983-Feb. 12, 1984, Paris, Grand Palais, Mar. 16, 1984-June 11, 1984.
Fort Worth, Amon Carter Museum, American Painters of Modern Life, Aug. 22-Oct. 30, 1994; traveled to New York City, Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 2-July 24, 1994, Denver Art Museum, Nov. 28, 1994-Feb. 5, 1995, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mar. 6-May 14, 1995.
Omaha, Joslyn Art Museum, On View to the World: Paintings at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, May 30-Sept. 6, 1998.
Art Institute of Chicago, Mary Cassatt: Modern Woman, Oct. 13, 1998-Jan. 10, 1999, cat. 72; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Feb. 14-May 9, 1999, National Gallery, Washington D.C., June 6-Sept. 6, 1999.
Maud Howe Elliot, ed., Art and Handicraft in the Woman’s Building of the World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago, 1893).
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Brush & Pencil, 6 (July 1900), p. 182, no. 183.
Sadakichi Hartman. A History of American Art, (Boston: L.C. Page and Company, 1901), vol. 2, p. 188, as The Toilet.
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Wynford Dewhurst, Impressionist Painting, Its Genesis and Development (London, 1904), pp. 75-77.
Brush and Pencil 15 (Mar.1905), p. 165, as The Toilet.
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Minutes Book of the Art Committee Meeting of Jan. 15, 1910, pp. 45-46.
“Paintings by Miss Cassatt,” New York Times, Mar. 6, 1910, Section III, p. 2, col.5.
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Achille Segard, Mary Cassatt, un Peintre des Enfants et des Meres, (Paris, Librairie Ollendorff, 1913), p. 52.
General Catalogue of Objects in the Museum 287 (Art Institute of Chicago, 1913), p. 130.
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Time Magazine, Dec. 14, 1941, ill. as Mother and Child.
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Life 12 (Jan. 19, 1942), pp. 54-56 (ill.).
John Walker et al., Great American Paintings from Smibert to Bellows, 1729-1924, (Oxford University Press, 1943), pl. 77.
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Milo M. Naeve, “The Edwardian Era and Patrons of American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago: The Birth of a Tradition,” America’s International Exposition of Fine Arts and Antiques (Lakeside Group, 1988), p. 23, fig. 5.
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From the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris, November-December 1893; Durand-Ruel, New York, Dec. 1893-1910; The Art Institute of Chicago, 1910.