The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project

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Biographical Text

Mary Cassatt was an American impressionist painter. She spent the majority of her life in Europe, particularly in France.

In 1910, Cassatt joined her brother Joseph Gardner’s family on a voyage to Egypt where they took a boat trip along the Nile River sightseeing in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. During the trip, Cassatt visited with Emma on her houseboat where she famously referred to Emma as a “woman pirate,” in a letter to fellow artist Isadora Duncan.

Unfortunately, her brother Joseph contracted an illness there and died shortly after the trip. Cassatt’s art became increasingly melancholy until she stopped painting all together in 1914 due to cataracts in her eyes. Cassatt passed away in 1926.

Birth Date



Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Death Date



Artist, Painter


Millicent Dillon, After Egypt: Isadora Duncan & Mary Cassatt, A Dual Biography. (New
York, Dutton, 1990), pp. 12·13.
“Mary Cassatt on a Houseboat, 1911, from the Frederick A. Sweet Research Material on Mary Cassatt and James A. McNeill Whistler, 1872-1975.” Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution,
“Painter, Interrupted: Mary Cassatt and Illness.” Hektoen International, 9 Aug. 2017,
Nolting, Lindsay, et al. “Portrait of An Artist.” Portrait of An Artist | VQR Online, “Painter, Interrupted: Mary Cassatt and Illness.” Hektoen International, 9 Aug. 2017,
“Biography of Mary Cassatt.” Mary Cassatt - The Complete Works - Biography,

Notable Family Members

Robert Simpson Cassatt (Father), Catherine Kelsto Johnston (Mother)

TEI tag


Abbreviated Biography

19th century impressionist painter, travelled to Egypt in 1910.



“Cassatt, Mary S.,” The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project, accessed June 16, 2024,