Degas/Cassatt at National Gallery of Art Monday, May 11

Nearly a century after his death, Edgar Degas is having his moment in D.C. This fall, the Kennedy Center will debut Little Dancer, a new musical inspired by “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen,” the impressionist’s sculpture on permanent display at the National Gallery of Art. Before his work gets the stage treatment, however, the NGA is asking viewers to consider how Degas influenced and was influenced by his artistic contemporaries, particularly Mary Cassatt, with a new exhibition that draws from the museum’s extensive collections of both artists’ work. Featured pieces emphasize femininity in its more restrained moments: Degas captures dancers waiting to perform while Cassatt paints cherubic children and mothers hard at work. Curators hone their focus on how Cassatt prepared American audiences for Degas’ arrival, further explaining why his work has struck a chord with viewers on this side of the Atlantic. And although “Little Dancer” isn’t included in this exhibition, viewers can still pay her a visit before leaving the gallery. The exhibition is on view Mondays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. nga.gov.

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