The Mint Museum will display in its American galleries Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder (No. 3), a stunning work by iconic American Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt, as a long-term loan from the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation.
The Foundation purchased the piece from The Brooklyn Museum, as well as Thomas Cole’s The Arch of Nero (deaccessioned by the Newark Museum of Art), on May 19 at Sotheby’s, and immediately offered to lend the Cassatt to The Mint Museum and the Cole to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Cassatt was the only American artist to exhibit with the French Impressionists, and Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder (No. 3) is a classic example of her mature work. An intimate portrait of a mother and her child — whose unique composition, with the mother’s back to the viewer — allowed Cassatt to demonstrate her strength as a colorist as well as a creator of innovative compositions. The Cassatt will go on view in July at The Mint Museum’s uptown Charlotte location, known as Mint Museum Uptown, as part of annual rotations in the American art galleries.
“We have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Jacobsen and her Foundation for a number of years,” says Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, the museum’s senior curator of American art. “Dr. Jacobsen is a champion of American art, striving to acquire the finest paintings and sculptures by a diverse range of artists who worked from this country’s earliest years to the present day. The Mint does not currently own a painting by Cassatt, and the loan of this fabulous painting will allow us to tell more fully the story of American Impressionism, as well as to highlight the important contributions of female artists to the story of American art.”
The Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation’s close relationship withThe Mint Museum is also evident its participation in the museum’s upcoming exhibition John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist, a retrospective featuring 70 of Breck’s finest works, which will be on view from September 18, 2021 to January 2, 2022 at Mint Museum Uptown. In 1887, Breck was one of the founders of the American art colony at Giverny and was among the earliest American artists to embrace the Impressionist style. He was also one of the first to exhibit his Impressionist paintings in America and helped to popularize the style during his years working in the Boston area in the 1890s. The exhibition, inspired by The Mint Museum’s 2016 acquisition of Breck’s canvas Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing, features a number of works that haven’t been on public view in more than a century.
“We are excited to be able to share this exquisite painting by Mary Cassatt with our community,” says Todd A. Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum. “Dr. Jacobsen and her Foundation believe great art should be shared and have enriched our American galleries by lending a number of unforgettable works. Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder (No. 3) will become a must-see piece in our galleries.”
The planned donation of the Jacobsen Foundation’s collection The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design will also be displayed at The Mint Museum in the near future, after it concludes its tour of 28 institutions across the country. And alongside the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, The Mint Museum is co-organizing an exhibition of over 100 highlights from the Foundation’s collection of American art. After its debut in Charlotte in fall 2022, the exhibition will travel to four additional venues and be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue of the collection.