In conjunction with the exhibition “Prints by Mary Cassatt,” the Zimmerli screens the doc “A Brush with Independence” and welcomes pianist Rosanne Vita Nahass, who explores the works of American composers.
The hour-long film “Mary Cassatt: A Brush with Independence” begins at 1:30 p.m. and is free with museum admission. At 3 p.m., pianist Rosanne Vita Nahass performs “American Impressions,” a unique musical journey that illuminates the relationship between music and the visual arts. Tickets are available the day of the concert beginning at 12:30 p.m. Prices are $5 for Rutgers faculty, staff, and students (with valid ID); $10 for museum members; and $15 for nonmembers (does not include museum admission).
“Mary Cassatt: A Brush with Independence” explores the life and career of Cassatt, a pioneer in American art and among women in the late 19th century. Born in 1844, she entered the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at just 15 and, determined to pursue art as a career, moved to Paris in 1866 to continue her studies. Cassatt ultimately settled in France – becoming the only American invited to join the French Impressionists – where she remained until she died in 1926. This authoritative film explores Cassatt’s diverse influences, drawing upon excerpts of letters and diaries from the artist, her family, fellow painters, and friends. Actress Anne Archer narrates.
A Zimmerli favorite, Rosanne Vita Nahass returns to the museum to present her popular and engaging lecture-recital format, discussing not only the composers and their works, but also other cultural trends of the eras. “American Impressions” explores the works of American composers Amy Beach and Charles Tomlinson Griffes, contemporaries of Mary Cassatt. Like the painter, who was a pioneer in American art and among women, they were influenced by their interactions with European culture and challenged late 19th-century social conventions in pursuit of their art. The program includes several of Beach’s compositions and Griffes’s rarely heard “Piano Sonata.” In addition, Nahass performs a masterpiece of French Impressionism, “Miroirs” (“Reflections”). Maurice Ravel composed this suite for solo piano to pay tribute to his fellow artists in Les Apaches (“hooligans”), a group of young French artists, poets, critics, and musicians that formed around 1900.