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Artist Biography

William Merritt Chase was one of the most accomplished artists and teachers of art in nineteenth-century America. During his training he worked alongside Frank Duveneck and John Twachtmen in Munich; and Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent in Paris. As a teacher—at the Art Students League and Brooklyn Art Association in New York, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and his own Shinnecock Summer School of Art in Long Island—he instructed countless budding artists, including Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Alfred Maurer, Marsden Hartley, and Georgia O’Keefe. His impact on the course of American art is hard to immeasurable.

Chase taught and experimented with a number of styles, from Tonal to Realist, but was most importantly a pillar of American Impressionism; his residence near Prospect Park in Brooklyn provided excellent opportunities for plein air painting. When it came to studio work, Chase had perhaps the best work space in Manhattan: Albert Bierstadt’s spacious former studio in the famed Tenth Street Studio Building. Because Chase was popular with artists and socialites alike, his studio attracted a multitude of visitors and became an important hub for artistic and commercial confluence. By the time of his death in 1916, Chase had garnered the most highly-esteemed awards and honors available to an American artist, and had had one-man exhibitions mounted in most major cities.

Chase’s works can be found in numerous collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH; Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Smithsonian American Art Museum (National Museum of American Art), Washington, DC; St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI and many other important institutions and private collections.