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We look slightly down onto a woman dressed in golden yellows, sitting in a pale green chair, with a nude child sitting in her lap as they both gaze into a mirror in this vertical portrait painting. Both the people have pale, peachy skin. The chair is angled to our left so the woman’s knees and child cant down toward the lower left corner of the composition, and the woman leans onto the arm closer to us. The chair is painted mint green and the rose-pink upholstery is visible on the seat and a corner behind the woman’s shoulder. To our right, the woman’s vibrant, copper-colored hair is pulled loosely to the back of her head. She has a rounded nose, flushed cheeks, and her full, coral-pink lips are closed. Her long dress has a low, U-shaped neckline. The fabric shimmers from pale, cucumber green to light sunshine yellow. The sleeves of the dress split over the shoulder and a second long, goldenrod-yellow sleeve falls from her elbow off the bottom edge of the canvas. An oversized sunflower, larger than the woman’s face, is affixed to her dress near her left shoulder, closer to us. She looks with dark eyes down toward the small, gold-rimmed mirror she holds in her right hand, farther from us. The child also holds the handle of the mirror with both hands, and in the reflection, the child looks back at us with dark eyes, a button nose, and pink lips. The child’s hair in the reflection is the same copper color as the woman’s, but the child on her lap has blond, shoulder-length hair. The woman rests one hand on the child’s left shoulder, closer to us. The child has a rounded belly and smooth, rosy limbs. The woman and child are reflected in a second mirror hanging on the wall alongside them, opposite us. Their reflections are very loosely painted. The wall behind the pair is sage green across the top and it shifts to fawn brown across the bottom. Brushstrokes are visible throughout, especially in the woman’s dress and hair, and are more blended in the bodies and faces. The artist signed the painting in the lower right corner, “Mary Cassatt.”

Mary Cassatt, Woman with a Sunflower, c. 1905, oil on canvas, Chester Dale Collection, 1963.10.98

Connecting Art and Social-Emotional Learning: Fostering Personal Agency

MOOC Meetup: Live via Zoom

Online Courses

  • Thursday, March 11, 2021
  • 4:00 p.m.
  • Virtual
  • Registration Required

Join National Gallery of Art museum educators, a guest teacher presenter, and a community of participants from the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Teaching Critical Thinking through Art for a live, online MOOC Meetup session for teachers. It connects works of art to social-emotional learning, focuses on social awareness, reflects on what we care about, and cultivates a sense of personal agency. Experience a lesson that can be easily applied in virtual or in-person classrooms.

In honor of National Women’s History Month, this online teacher workshop includes a discussion (via the Zoom chat feature) of a work of art by 19th-century American artist Mary Cassatt. We will use thinking routines from Artful Thinking and Visible Thinking at Harvard’s Project Zero. Special guest teacher Grace Bogosian will share documentation of student work as a picture of practice from her elementary classroom. We will discuss how to apply art in our various teaching contexts to promote social awareness and a sense of personal agency in students and ourselves. Ready-to-use, adaptable resources will be available for teachers to replicate and integrate into their own lesson planning.

The format of these programs is an online Zoom meeting. This means that your image and voice may be recorded if you choose to turn on your camera and/or microphone. By registering, you give consent for the National Gallery of Art to use that recording in any media, including on the Gallery’s website and social media accounts, as well as in a noncommercial educational online course that will be made available to the general public on a third-party platform.