Women Of the Impressionist Circle

The women who shaped the international success of Impressionism

Webinar Series

Mary Cassatt, Portrait of the Artist, 1878. Watercolor, gouache on wove paper laid down to buff-colored wood-pulp paper, 23 5/8 x 16 3/16 in. (60 x 41.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Edith H. Proskauer, 1975 (1975.319.1).

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the art exhibition that would come to be known as the birth of the Impressionist Movement, the Wildenstein Plattner Institute is hosting a series of webinars, “Women of the Impressionist Circle,” throughout 2024 in recognition of women artists, writers, collectors, philanthropists, and advisors who shaped the international success of one of the most referential art movements in history. As many of these women remain under-recognized for their work to this day, our series will focus on the lesser-known female Impressionists, the cultural “influencers” of the 19th century who championed the art outside of France, and the early 20th-century patrons who helped enshrine these works within the pantheon of modern culture. 

We are pleased to welcome these esteemed scholars, curators, and specialists of Impressionism’s greatest artists as our guest speakers:

  • Dr. Laura Corey, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Dr. Anna Swinbourne, Hill-Stead Museum
  • Dorthe Vangsgaard Nielsen, Ordrupgaard Museum (Charlottenlund, Denmark)
  • Marie Caroline Sainsaulieu, French art historian
  • …and others to be announced!

Read on for information about each upcoming webinar. This page will be updated throughout the series.

Past webinars are available on our YouTube channel.

Le Thé par Eva Gonzalès et le Portrait d’Eva Gonzalès par Edouard Manet 

un dialogue pictural animé par Marie-Caroline Sainsaulieu et Sophie Pietri (in French / en Français)

Jeudi, Mai 2, 12pm ET (18h CET)

Lien d’inscription

Eva Gonzalès, Tea Time, 1865−69, Oil on canvas, 94 × 60 cm. Private collection (Left). Édouard Manet, Eva Gonzalès, 1870, Oil on canvas, 191.1 × 133.4 cm. The National Gallery, London. In partnership with Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin (Right).

L’élégance exceptionnelle de Le Thé par Eva Gonzalès impressionna Manet, le déterminant sans doute à accepter comme élève une jeune artiste formée dans l’atelier de Charles Chaplin, le “peintre délicat des grâces féminines”. D’ailleurs, à l’évidence, le Portrait d’Eva Gonzalès par Manet constitue un discret hommage à ce tableau.

En outre, on peut percevoir dans Le Thé que la jeune femme avait commencé à s’écarter des leçons de Chaplin, le peintre du “pays du rose”.  En acceptant de poser pour le “scandaleux” Manet, puis en le choisissant comme nouveau mentor dans l’art, elle fit preuve d’une rare audace qui ne fut pas sans conséquence dans le jugement que la critique porta sur son œuvre. 

Marie-Caroline Sainsaulieu est historienne de l’art, spécialiste de l’art moderne français des XIX et XXème siècles. Sainsaulieu a contribué à de nombreux catalogues tel que celui publié à l’occasion de l’exposition Les Femmes Impressionnistes : Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Berthe Morisot présentée au Musée Marmottan. Elle a aussi co-écrit deux catalogues raisonnés : Henri Manguin, catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre peint et Eva Gonzalès, Étude critique et catalogue raisonné. Enfin depuis 2022, Sainsaulieu dirige le Eva Gonzalès digital catalogue raisonné project en partenariat avec le WPI.

Sophie Pietri est Directrice des Archives au Fonds Wildenstein Plattner Institute à Paris où elle pilote le Eva Gonzalès digital catalogue raisonné project. Pietri a été auparavant chercheuse et responsable de la bibliothèque du Wildenstein Institute. Elle a contribué à un grand nombre de publications, notamment aux catalogues raisonnés de Gustave Caillebotte, Edouard Manet et Berthe Morisot. 


Impressionism and Its Overlooked Women

Recorded Webinar Available

Marie Bracquemond, On the Terrace at Sèvres, 1880, Oil on canvas, 88 × 115 cm, Association des Amis du Petit Palais, Geneve

Ordrupgaard’s exhibition Impressionism and Its Overlooked Women centers five women artists whose roles have been given less attention in the popular narrative of Impressionism: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond and Marie Bashkirtseff.

While Bashkirtseff did not belong to the circle of the Impressionists, her self-portraits and feminist activism engage with the obstacles a woman faced as a professional artist at the time when women were not admitted to academies of art, could not leave home unaccompanied, and often could not call themselves artists without loss of reputation.

Dorthe Vangsgaard Nielsen is Senior Curator at Ordrupgaard, Charlottenlund, in Denmark, which holds one of Northern Europe’s most important collections of French Impressionism. She specializes in nineteenth-century French art and has edited catalogues and curated exhibitions on French Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and contemporary art, including Impressionism and Its Overlooked Women (2024, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland); Ai Weiwei: Water Lilies #1 (forthcoming 2024); Enigmatic Underworlds: Jean Gauguin and Klara Lilja (2023); Gauguin and His Friends (2022); and Monet: Beyond Impressionism (2016). 

This event was recorded on April 3, 2024.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Theodate Pope Riddle’s Hill-Stead Museum

Recorded Webinar Available

Alfred, Ada and Theodate Pope at Hill-Stead, c.1902

Theodate Pope Riddle (1867-1946) and the museum she founded are very little known. Designed as a home for her family in 1901, before women were licensed to be architects in Connecticut, Hill-Stead today houses their exceptional collection of masterworks by Monet, Degas, Manet, Cassatt and Whistler – all displayed in situ as originally installed. Learn more about this exceptional woman and her parents, who were among the first collectors of Impressionism in this country and who left an awe-inspiring legacy.

Anna Swinbourne, PhD is Executive Director and CEO of Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Connecticut. Her previous appointments include the Museum of Modern Art, New York, as a curator, and Assistant Vice President in the Impressionist and Modern Art department at Sotheby’s. She has earned many distinctions as an independent art historian, curator, and educator.

This event was recorded on March 26, 2024

Mary Cassatt: Impressionist Ambassador

Recorded Webinar Available

Mary Cassatt was the only American and one of just three women to participate in the official Impressionist exhibitions. Best known for her contributions as an innovative painter and printmaker, she was also a prolific advisor who worked with more than a dozen collectors to bring Impressionism to America. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, the year she settled in Paris, and approaching the centenary of her death in 1926, Dr. Laura Corey reevaluates Cassatt’s legacy and indelible impact on Impressionism.

Laura Corey is Associate Research Curator and Project Manager in the Office of the Director and CEO at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where she specialized in nineteenth-century French art and the history of collecting and wrote her dissertation on Mary Cassatt’s role as an advisor to American collectors. 

This event was recorded on February 27, 2024


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