Donna L. Emerson
For Mary, Sotto Voce
Mary Cassatt painted mothers as monuments, well nourished, flourishing with their babies, with themselves, at the bath, in the nursery, kitchen, at the opera, on the lawns.
They wore white, carried fans or parasols, the more white the better, white touched with blue paint to make the white whiter.
Mary lets us come very close to her women’s worlds. We want to touch arms, red-blond hair, take the baby onto our laps, take tea. We want to watch the opera next to her and say, thank you, Mary, you know and show the world full women.
You said you wanted to be someone, not something. Even more than yourself, you gave us back to ourselves as well.