Knitting in the Library (verso)

c. 1881
(American, 1844–1926)
Support: Cream(3) wove paper
Sheet: 31.3 x 40.1 cm (12 5/16 x 15 13/16 in.); Image: 28 x 22 cm (11 x 8 11/16 in.)
Location: not on view
This artwork is known to be under copyright.

Download, Print and Share


In this working drawing for the softground etching and aquatint of the same title, Cassatt portrays her mother in a quiet moment of concentration with her handwork. Freely drawn, the study was used to block out main areas of light and dark with strong diagonal shading in graphite. Cassatt's skillful arrangement of forms may be found in the contrast between the curving lines of the figure and the armchair with the verticals and horizontals of the flanking bookcase. Cassatt's mother, Katherine Kelso Cassatt, had received a Continental education, spoke fluent French, and was extremely well read. She oversaw the rigorous education of her children and supported Cassatt's artistic career, living abroad with her daughter and often serving as a model.
Knitting in the Library (verso)

Knitting in the Library (verso)

c. 1881

Mary Cassatt

(American, 1844–1926)
America, 19th century

Visually Similar Artworks

ArtLens App

Let the ArtLens App be your guide, featuring an interactive map, every artwork on view, and AR scanning. Keep track of your favorite artworks. Take a guided tour, or create your own. 

Download the App

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.