William Merritt Chase (William Merritt Chase)

William Merritt Chase

Artist.  William showed artistic talent as a young boy. He begin formal training in art at the age of eighteen with a local portrait painter in Indianapolis. In 1869 William went to New York, where for two years he was a student at the National Academy of Design.  In Munich at the Royal Academy he studied with Karl von Piloty, who helped him to perfect a quick, bold brushstroke and taught him the dramatic Munich “dark manner.” A few years later he abandoned this somber palette in favor of the lighter tones of French impressionism. He returned to New York in 1878 to teach at the Art Students League, a position he held until 1896, when he opened his own art school in the city. By 1874 William was established in his Tenth Street studio, located in a building that was a center for artists. His works often contain views of his studio, a beautiful setting furnished with art and decorative objects he had collected.  In 1886 William married Alice Gerson, who had been his model. Not only did he depict his wife frequently in his paintings, but also their many children. Between 1891 and 1902 William directed a summer school in Shinnecock Hills, which became the most important outdoor art school in America. He was elected president of the Society of American Artists in 1885, a position he held for the next ten years, and in 1890 he was elected academician in the National Academy of Design.  William was a well-known and prolific artist. His paintings were admired in the United States and abroad for their luminous color, virtuoso brushstroke, and assured composition, and his work was exhibited widely, often winning prestigious awards. He was an influential teacher whose students included many of America’s noted modernist painters—Sheeler, O’Keeffe, Hartley, and Demuth among them. Today his works are in most major museums in the United States. His home and studio at Shinnecock Hills, New York was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 as the William Merritt Chase Homestead. William died in his New York townhouse, an esteemed elder of the American art world. (bio by: Shock)  Family links:  Spouse:  Alice Bremond Gerson Chase (1866 – 1927)*  Children:  Koto Robertine Chase Sullivan (1889 – 1956)*  William Merritt Chase (1890 – 1891)*  Hazel Neamaug Chase (1893 – 1949)* *Calculated relationship


  • November, 01, 1849
  • USA


  • October, 10, 1916
  • USA


  • Green-Wood Cemetery
  • USA

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