Student Research Projects

Children in 19th Century Art

Student Maegan Murray
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Art History


Art is a topic up for much discussion because of the fact that the on-looker may never know what the artist truly intended. Many can interpret Mary Cassatt’s art to satisfy a commonality, but it takes a deeper look to discover why she took to painting Children. Cassatt’s female subjects argue important points of comparison between them and the male children in works by Winslow Homer and Eastman Johnson. This is a study looking at images of children in the painting of several 19th Century American painters. This study also relates to broader issues of gender and creative expression amongst artists of the early 19th and 20th Centuries. For example, where male children in Homer’s and Eastman’s paintings reflect national values, children in Cassatt’s paintings are portrayed as accessories for their middle class mothers.


VCHC Honors Conference