Biografie von William Merritt CHASE (1849-1916)

Birth place: Franklin, IN

Death place: NYC

Addresses: NYC

Profession: Portrait, landscape, and still-life painter, teacher

Studied: B.F. Hays, 1867; J.O. Eaton; NAD, with Lemuel Wilmarth, 1869; Royal Acad., Munich, with Alexander Wagner; Wilhelm Leibl, Karl von Piloty.

Exhibited: NAD, 1871-1918 (1912, Proctor Prize); Centenn. Expo., Phila., 1876 (med.); Boston AC, 1876, 1879, 1881-84, 1901-09; Brooklyn AA, 1877-81, 1884, 1892, 1912; PAFA, 1879-1917 (1895, gold; 1901, gold); Paris Salon, 1881 (prize), 1882, 1883, 1889 (med.); Munich, 1883 (prize); Cleveland AA, 1894 (prize); AIC; SAA, 1895 (prize); Paris Expo., 1900 (gold); Pan.-Am. Expo., Buffalo, 1901 (gold); Charleston Expo., 1902 (gold); Soc. Wash. Artists, 1904 (prize); Corcoran Gal, 1907-16; Pan.-Pac. Expo., San Fran., 1915 (prize); major retrospective exhibit at MMA and Henry Art Gal. (Univ. Washington), 1983 (accompanied by monograph by R. Pisano); Parrish AM, 1984 ("Painter-Etchers" exhib.); "Summers at Shinnecock" at Nat. Gallery, 1987 and Terra Mus., Chicago, 1988; Spanierman Gal., NYC, 1995 (retrospective)

Member: ANA, 1888; NA, 1890; SAA, 1879 (founder); AWCS; Munich Secession; Ten Am. Painters (joined in 1905, replacing Twachtman, who had died 1902); NIAL; AAAL; Portrait Painters; NAC; Lotos Club.

Work: MMA; NMAA; NGA; BMFA; PAFA; Corcoran Gal.; Wilstach Gal., Philadelphia; Cincinnati Mus.; Parrish AM; Toledo AM; RISD; Indianapolis AA; AIC; Herron AI, Indianapolis; Brooklyn Inst. Mus.; Amon Carter Mus.; Terra Mus. Am. Art, Chicago; Carnegie Inst.; Richmond (IN) AA (self-portrait in Shinnecock studio); Shelburne (VT) Mus.

Comments: One of America"s greatest Impressionist masters and one of its most influential teachers, his career brought him international acclaim. In addition to his bold portraiture and figurative paintings of elegant women, he is remembered for his still lifes, studio interiors, and landscapes. In Europe, his peers in salon portraiture of the Gilded Age were Anders Zorn, Giovanni Boldini, Jaoquin Sorolla y Bastida, and the American expatriate, John Singer Sargent. His favorite subjects, which often included his family, were set in landscapes painted in Shinnnecock, Central Park in Manhattan, and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. He was also an extremely influential teacher, and many of his students became famous painters. He taught at ASL, 1878-96, 1907-12; privately, at his 10th Street Studio, 1878-96; Brooklyn AA, 1887, 1891-95; Chase School Art, 1896-1907 (re-named New York School Art, in 1898); AIC, 1897; PAFA, 1896-1909; continued teaching privately in Philadelphia until 1913; Shinnecock Summer School Art, 1891-1902 (the first school of open-air painting in America); summer classes in Holland (1903), London (1904), Madrid (1905), Italy (1907, 1910, 1911), Bruges (1912), last summer class, in Venice, 1913.

Sources: WW15; Ronald Pisano, William Merritt Chase, NY: Watson-Guptill, 1979; Pisano, A Leading Spirit in American Art: William Merritt Chase (Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA, 1983); N. Cikovsky, "Wm. M. Chase at Shinnecock Hills," Antiques, Aug., 1987, p. 290-303; Muller, Paintings and Drawings at the Shelburne Museum, 41 (w/repro.); Fink, American Art at the Nineteenth-Century Paris Salons, 329

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