James McNeill Whistler, The Beach at Marseille (detail), 1901. Oil paint on panel, 8-1/16 x 13-1/16 in. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.143. Photography © Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago.

Drawn to France: American Painters & Their Patrons

A four-part course around the exhibition Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France

James McNeill Whistler, The Beach at Marseille (detail), 1901. Oil paint on panel, 8-1/16 x 13-1/16 in. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.143. Photography © Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago.

Schedule & Location

  • Tuesdays, 6–7:15 pm
    • November 30, 2021
    • January 4, 2022
    • January 25, 2022
    • March 1, 2022
  • This course will take place at the museum in Sharp Auditorium and online via livestream.
    • Online registrants will receive a link to access the course session live stream prior to the start of the session.” (it will probably not be Zoom – tbd on the platform)

Ticket Information

Register for individual sessions or the entire course. To register for the in-person course in Sharp Auditorium, please purchase an onsite ticket. To register for the online livestream of the course, please purchase an online ticket.

All course registrants will receive a link to the recorded course session, which will be available to view for two weeks after the course. You do not need to purchase both tickets to access a recording of the course.

  • Museum Friends:
    • Tickets on sale October 4
    • $60 full course
    • $15 individual session
    • Please log into your Museum Friends account to access discounted tickets.
  • Members:
    • Tickets on sale October 6
    • $68 full course
    • $17 individual sessions
  • General Public:
    • Tickets on sale October 11
    • $80 full course
    • $20 individual sessions

Session 1

Whistler to Cassatt: The Making of an Exhibition

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and process of bringing the exhibition Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France to life.

A group of men, women, and children fishing for oysters at the beach.

John Singer Sargent, Fishing for Oysters at Cancale, 1878. Oil paint on canvas; 16-1/8 x 24 in. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Gift of Miss Mary Appleton, 35.708. Photograph © 2020 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Session 2

Impressionism's Summers

Learn about the American artists who studied in Paris, their annual escape to the countryside, and how Impressionists created or transformed these summer artists’ colonies.

Young girl sitting at a window with her dog in her lap.

Mary Cassatt, Young Girl at a Window, c. 1883–1884. Oil paint on canvas; 39-1/2 x 25-1/2 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC: Corcoran Collection, museum Purchase, Gallery Fund. Image courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington. Public Domain.

Session 3

Mary, Louisine, and Bertha: Three American Women Who Put Impressionism on the Map

Learn about the crucial roles played by artist Mary Cassatt and collectors Bertha Honoré Palmer and Louisine Havemeyer in cementing the popularity of Impressionist art in France and the US.

View of a group of men crowded around a man in repose.

Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Resurrection of Lazarus, 1896. Oil paint on canvas; 37-1/4 x 47-1/2 in. Musée d'Orsay: acquis en 1897. Photo: Herve Lewandoswki. © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY.

Session 4

Henry Ossawa Tanner and Black Artists in Paris, c. 1900

Join this discussion on Black US artists who challenged racist stereotypes in Paris during the 1890s and twentieth century.