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The New York Public Library is currently hosting the free exhibition Daring Methods: The Prints of Mary Cassatt, which spans Mary Cassatt’s (1844-1926) printmaking career from 1878 to 1898. In 1875, after having two works refused by the illustrious Paris Salon’s jury, Cassatt joined the Impressionist group at Edgar Degas’ (1834-1917) request. Cassatt created her earliest surviving prints a few years later in 1878, a year before she first exhibited with the Impressionists.

Cassatt, a legendary American artist who is well known for her tender paintings of women and children, had a bold approach to printmaking. She experimented with an array of print media, often repeating compositions and fervently reworking her copper printing plates in an effort to achieve the effects she desired.

Daring Methods tracks Cassatt’s evolution as a printmaker from her exploratory black-and-white beginnings to her mastery of the medium and her creation of technically striking color prints. The exhibition is organized chronologically to emphasize Cassatt’s development as a printmaker, illustrating the evolution of her subjects, compositions, and printing methods.

The show features 88 prints from the library’s archive, many of which have never been seen except on request. The works were donated to the New York Public Library in 1900 by Samuel Putnam Avery, a New York-based art dealer who worked closely with Cassatt.

Daring Methods: The Prints of Mary Cassatt will be on view in the New York Public Library’s Print and Stokes Gallery through June 22, 2013.

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