During her early Impressionist period, Mary Cassatt frequently captured the activities of middle- and upper-class women in society—at the theater or taking tea, for example. On a Balcony, which was shown in the 1880 Impressionist exhibition, appears to depict a woman in a public setting. However, the blue rail of the balcony, visible near the top of the painting, defines the enclosed space of a private garden, and the woman’s morning dress further indicates the intimacy of her location. Cassatt signaled the modernity of her subject through the woman’s choice of reading material: she peruses a newspaper rather than a novel, demonstrating that even at home, Cassatt’s subjects are connected to the contemporary world.
Gift of Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge in memory of her aunt, Delia Spencer Field
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Art Institute of Chicago, Sargent, Whistler and Mary Cassatt, Jan. 14–Feb. 25, 1954, cat. 10; New York City, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mar. 24–May 23, 1954.
Grand Rapids Art Gallery, Mich., Cassatt, Whistler, Sargent Exhibition, Sept. 15–Oct. 15, 1955, cat. 5.
Palm Beach, Society of the Four Arts, John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt, Mar. 7–Apr. 5, 1959, cat. 39.
Art Gallery of Toronto, American Painting, 1865–1905, Jan. 6–Feb. 5, 1961, cat. 7; New York City, Whitney Museum of American Art, May 17–June 18, 1961.
South Hadley, Mass., Mount Holyoke College, Women Artists in America Today, Apr. 10–30, 1962, cat. 1.
Albi, France, Musée Toulouse–Lautrec, Trésors Impressionnistes du Musée de Chicago, June 27–Aug. 31, 1980, cat. 43.
New York City, Coe Kerr Gallery, Mary Cassatt, An American Observer, Oct. 3–27, 1984, fig. 1.
Art Institute of Chicago, Mary Cassatt: Modern Woman, Oct. 13, 1998–Jan. 10, 1999, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Feb. 14–May 9, 1999, Washington DC, National Gallery, June 6–Sept. 6, 1999, cat. 13.
The artist; Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, by 1922; Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge, 1922; given to the Art Institute of Chicago, 1938.
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