Hidden Treasure

Mary Cassatt prints

"We could go to see the Japanese prints at the Beaux-Arts . . . you couldn't dream of anything more beautiful. I dream of it and don't think of anything else but color on copper," the American Impressionist Mary Cassatt once wrote to a friend. Even as she was painting in Paris with Degas and Monet, Cassatt was perfecting her printmaking techniques; after seeing the exhibition of woodblock prints by Utamaro and others, her genius for the medium emerged. In the early 1900s Cassatt sold more than 200 drawings and aquatints (such as La Toilette) to the dealer Ambroise Vollard. Vollard never sold or exhibited them; after his death they were sold to a French collector, who kept them out of sight for 60 years. Now the entire collection goes on sale, from November 10 through December 29, 2000 at Adelson Galleries, in New York (212-439-6800).