“I am independent! I can live alone and I love to work.”

Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844 – 1926)
Considered America’s first Impressionist, Mary is world-renown for her lyrical images of mothers and children. Ironically, Mary didn’t have any children of her own, but instead devoted her life to her art. Raised by parents who believed in travel, she lived the majority of her life abroad. She supported women’s independence and equality having been refused the use of live models and entrance to Paris’ École des Beaux-Arts due to her gender. Nevertheless, she was awarded France’s Legion d’honneur for her contributions to the arts. In spite of many obstacles and hardships she never abandoned her passion for painting, “I have not done what I wanted to, but I tried to make a good fight.” Today her paintings can sell for nearly 3 million dollars apiece.