May 22, 1844: Mary Cassatt is born.

Born in Pennsylvania, this ”grande dame” of Impressionism moved to Paris in her early twenties to hone her artistic talents. In the 1870s, she was invited by Edgar Degas to display her works at an Impressionist exhibition. In joining this group, she befriended Degas himself, as well as Berthe Morisot, another prominent female Impressionist. She ultimately participated in four Impressionist exhibitions, although her paintings differed from those of many of her colleagues in subject matter. Many of her paintings were portraits, especially of women and their children. By the mid-1880s, Cassatt had begun to drift away from strict Impressionism (which itself was overshadowed by the dawn of the 20th century by other more avant-garde movements like Cubism). While she was not well-known in her native country, France did not forget her artistic contributions - she was awarded the Legion d’honneur in 1904. 

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