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Museum Talks | Washington, DC #18 The Philadelphia Museum of Art – Mary Cassatt at Work

Exhibition, Talk

Maternal Caress, 1896, Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844–1926), 1970-75-2.


Thursday, August 1 | 6:00 pm


As part of Museum Talks, join Villa Albertine and co-curators Jennifer Thompson and Laurel Garber on August 1 for a virtual talk on their new exhibition Mary Cassatt at Work now on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Villa Albertine DC is honored to host co-curators Jennifer Thompson, Gloria and Jack Drosdick Curator of European Painting and Sculpture and Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection, and Laurel Garber, Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, for a virtual talk on the Mary Cassatt at Work exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This event will take place online on Thursday, August 1, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm ET.

This conversation will be moderated by Faya Causey, former Head of Academic Programs at the NGA, and will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.


A celebrated member of the French Impressionists, Pennsylvania-born Mary Cassatt challenged the conventional expectations of Philadelphia’s elite. In Paris, Cassatt committed herself to a career as a professional artist and made the social, intellectual, and working lives of modern women a core subject of her prints, paintings, and pastels. Though recognized in her lifetime for her intimate depictions of women and children, Cassatt has yet to be appreciated for her serious engagement with the realities of gender and labor in her portrayal of other traditionally feminine activities, such as embroidery, reading, and making social appearances.

These depictions lie at the heart of Mary Cassatt at Work, which will present over 130 diverse works that follow the artist’s evolving practice and demonstrate her interest in the “serious work” of art-making. The exhibition will present new findings about the materials she used and her processes—which were advanced for her era—as it coincides with a detailed technical study of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s significant Cassatt holdings.

Mary Cassatt at Work is the first major presentation of the artist’s oeuvre since 1998–99. By considering her professionalism, her life, and the wider Parisian world she inhabited, a richer and more complex picture of Cassatt develops, inviting contemporary conversations about gender, work, and artistic agency.

The exhibition opened on Saturday, May 18 and will be on view until September 8, 2024

For tickets and to find out more about the exhibition and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, click here.

The Speakers

Courtesy of Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer A. Thompson, The Gloria and Jack Drosdick Curator of European Painting & Sculpture and Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Jennifer Thompson is Head of the European Art Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Curator of the Rodin Museum. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Since joining the museum in 2000, she has published widely and curated many notable exhibitions, including Mary Cassatt at Work (2024), The Impressionist’s Eye (2019), Old Masters Now, Celebrating the Johnson Collection (2017), Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting (2015), Van Gogh Up Close (2012), and Late Renoir (2010).

Laurel Garber

Laurel Garber, Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Laurel Garber is the Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A specialist in nineteenth-century French graphic art, she earned a PhD from Northwestern University and MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Laurel’s projects at the PMA, include Emma Amos: Color Odyssey (2021), Mary Cassatt at Work (2024), and Wanda Gág: Art for Life’s Sake (forthcoming 2025). Prior to joining her department in Philadelphia, Laurel held curatorial fellowships and positions at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Clark Art Institute.

In partnership with

Philadelphia Museum of Art

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