Chase, William Merritt

Chase, William Merritt,

1849–1916, American painter, b. Williamsburg, Ind., studied in Indianapolis and in Munich under PilotyPiloty, Karl von
, 1826–86, German historical painter; son of Ferdinand Piloty (1786–1844), a noted German lithographer. Karl first won recognition for his genre paintings, such as The Nurse (1853).
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. In 1878 he began his long career as an influential teacher at the Art Students League of New York and later established his own summer school of landscape painting in the Shinnecock Hills on Long Island. Proficient in many media, Chase is best known for his spirited portraits and still lifes in oil. His Carmencita, Lady in Black, and portrait of Whistler (all: Metropolitan Mus.) and My Daughter Alice (Cleveland Mus.) are characteristic. He was president of the Society of American Artists for 10 years and a member of the National Academy of Design.


See K. M. Roof, Life and Art of William M. Chase (1917).

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Chase, William Merritt

(1849–1916) painter; born in Williamsburg, Ind. Showing a natural talent for painting, he was sent abroad in 1872 to study, funded by a group of St. Louis businessmen. Although he studied at the Munich Royal Academy, when he returned to America he had converted to the French Impressionist style and in 1878 he began teaching at the Art Students League in New York City. Both there and at his own summer school at Shinnecock, Long Island, he produced a large body of sensuously colored, detailed work, such as Lady with the White Shawl (1893), and taught a whole generation of American painters.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.