The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 16, 2024

Knitting in the Library

Knitting in the Library

c. 1881
(American, 1844–1926)
Platemark: 27.8 x 21.7 cm (10 15/16 x 8 9/16 in.); Sheet: 36.5 x 27.8 cm (14 3/8 x 10 15/16 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Breeskin 30
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

Mary Cassatt often made only a few (or even just one) impression of her early softground etchings, making these prints virtually unique works.


Beginning from a spare drawing of her mother in her home library, Mary Cassatt created this etching by adding aquatint to her copper plate, creating tonal variations and bold contrasts of light and shadow. This is an extremely rare artist's proof of the second of three versions of the etching. Early prints like Knitting in the Library were private rather than commercial works of art, exercises in experimentation and innovation made by Cassatt as she explored Impressionism.
  • ?-1988
    (David Tunick, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH)
    Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Lees, Sarah, and Richard R. Brettell. Innovative Impressions: Prints by Cassatt, Degas, and Pissarro. Tulsa, Oklahoma : Philbrook Museum of Art, 2018 Mentioned: p. 44; reproduced: p. 45, fig. 44
    Georgopulos, Nicole. ""Please Don't Let Your Ambition Sleep": Cassatt's Professionalism". In Cassatt - McNicoll: Impressionists Between Worlds, Caroline Shields, ed., 49-82. Toronto, Ontario: Art Gallery of Ontario; Fredericton, New Brunswick: Goose Lane Editions, 2023. Reproduced: P. 74-75, 76-77
  • Innovative Impressions: Cassatt, Degas, and Pissarro as Painter-Printmakers. Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK (organizer) (June 9-September 9, 2018).
    Mary Cassatt and the Feminine Ideal in Nineteenth-Century Paris. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer) (October 14, 2012-January 20, 2013).
    L'Impressionnisme vu d'Amérique. Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France (organizer) (June 9-September 9, 2007); Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble, France (October 6, 2007-January 20, 2008).
    Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (November 7, 1993-January 2, 1994).
    The Year in Review for 1988. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (March 1-May 14, 1989).
  • {{cite web|title=Knitting in the Library|url=false|author=Mary Cassatt|year=c. 1881|access-date=16 June 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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