Untitled Document
A Bit of Sunlight (Garden Wall) - William Merritt Chase
Sold William Merritt Chase
"A Bit of Sunlight (Garden Wall)", ca. 1888
Pastel on paper
7 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches
Signed lower right: Wm. M. Chase


Noah Goldowsky Gallery, New York
Timothy Baum, New York
Mr. & Mrs. Lester Francis Avnet, New York
Private Collection, Massachusetts


New York, New York Cultural Center, A Selection of Drawings, Pastels and Watercolors From the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Lester Francis Avnet, December 8, 1969 – January 25, 1970
American Works on Paper: 100 Years of American Art History
Davenport, IA, Davenport Art Gallery, Dec. 11, 1982 – Feb. 12 1984
Little Rock, AK, Arkansas Art Center, Feb. 24 – Apr. 8, 1984
Oklahoma City, OK, Oklahoma Art Center, Apr. 15 – May 20, 1984
Wichita Falls, TX, Wichita Falls Museum, May 27 – July 1, 1984
Corpus Christi, TX, Art Museum of South Texas, July 8 – Aug. 12, 1984
Kansas City, MO, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Aug. 19 – Sept. 23, 1984
Huntsville, AL, Huntsville Museum of Art, Sept. 30 – Nov. 4, 1984
Stillwater, OK, Gardiner Art Gallery, Nov. 11 – Dec. 16, 1984
Pueblo, CO, Sangre de Christo Art Center, Jan. 4 – Mar. 3, 1985
Lincoln, NE, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Mar. 17 – Apr. 21, 1985
Peoria, IL, Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences, May 5 – June 9, 1985
Salina, KS, Salina Art Center, Aug. 11 – Sept. 15, 1985
Springfield, MO, Springfield Art Museum, Sept. 29 – Nov. 3, 1985
Lexington, KY, University of Kentucky Art Museum, Nov. 17 – Dec. 29, 1985
Brooklyn, New York, Brooklyn Museum of Art, William Merritt Chase: Modern American Landscapes, 1886-1890, May 26 – August 13, 2000; The Art Institute of Chicago, September 7 – November 26, 2000; Museum of Fine Arts Houston, December 13, 2000 – March 11, 2001
New York, Adelson Galleries, American Impressionism and Realism,
May – September, 2001
July 2005, pp. 38-43

Barbara Dayer Gallati, William Merritt Chase, Modern American
Landscapes 1886-1890 (Brooklyn Museum of Art, 1999), pp.78-79,

Ronald G. Pisano, Summer Afternoons: Landscape Paintings of William Merritt Chase (Bulfinch Press, Boston 1993)

Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art (Wellfleet Press, Secaucus, NJ 1987)

Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940 (Hughes Publishing Co., San Francisco, 1986)

William Gerdts, American Impressionism (Abbeville Press, NY 1984)
Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art (Harper & Row, New York, 1979)

New York Cultural Center in association with Fairleigh Dickinson University, A Selection of Drawings, Pastels and Watercolors From the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Lester Francis Avnet, December 8, 1969 – January 25, 1970, pp. 78-79, no. 19, illustrated (listed as The Garden Wall)

Chase once said: "I don't believe in making pencil sketches and then painting your landscape in your studio. You must be right under the sky. You must try to match your colors as nearly as you can to those you see before you, and you must study the effects of light and shade on nature's own hues and tints." His interest in honest depiction and the exploration of natural light is evident here, in A Bit of Sunlight (Garden Wall), where he successfully captures a window into a sunlit corner of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, transforming the seemingly ordinary into the extraordinary. One critic, who noted in his review of the 1889 pastel exhibition in New York:

Of Mr. Chase’s landscapes we like best the simplest, appropriately named “A Bit of Sunlight.” It is a view in the Brooklyn navy-yard of a straight, flagged path, between two trim grass plots, with the trunks of a few trees and a low, gray wall for a back ground – very unpromising material, one would think. But as a close study of tones it is most interesting to the connoisseur, and the resulting effect of sunshine is so natural as to take the unprepared spectator by surprise.

A.R. Ives, "Talks with Mr. William M. Chase," Art Amateur, September 25, 1891
“The Pastel Exhibition,” Art Amateur 21, June 1889