Mary Cassatt, Finally, on my Third Try!

by | Jun 26, 2022

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One of the reasons I had planned visits to the New Britain Museum of American Art and the Wadsworth Atheneum (both in CT) was to see their works by Mary Cassatt, which I had been eager to see for many years…but neither museum had her work currently on display!

However today I went to the Hill-Stead museum in Farmington, CT, and saw the fabulous Cassatt in their collection, “Sarah Handing a Toy to the Baby.”


Mary Cassatt was friends with the Pope family, owners of Hill-Stead (now a museum), and often stayed at the home – likely in the very bedroom where this painting hangs!

I recently visited the “Whistler to Cassatt” exhibition at the VMFA Richmond (through July 31, 2022), and saw two other  lovely paintings of Sara with her mother and the baby. Cassatt seems to be exploring several ways to approach this triple portrait, with varying degrees of loose vs finished  pastel strokes, and trying out different backgrounds. Note that Sara and her mother are in the same outfits in all three versions.

The wide range of hair color may have been one of the reasons Mary Cassatt was eager to work on several versions.


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