William Merritt Chase

(1849-1916)

William Merritt Chase, born in 1849, was on of the most influential art teachers of the late 19th and early 20th century. In 1870 he studied for a year at the National Academy of Design, NYC, and then went to Europe. He studied at the Royal Academy of Munich where dramatic highlighting and dark backgrounds of the 17th century were emphasized. He gained recognition for his full spectrum of styles and techniques from Impressionistic colors to vigorous brushwork to Classicism. He managed to maintain harmony throughout the composition with form and light. Chase began his teaching career at the Art Students League where he opened his studio to students and encouraged individualism. He also taught for 10 years at the Chase School, later renamed the New York School of Art, and at his summer home in Shinnecock, Long Island. He had many famous students including Georgia O'Keefe and Rockwell Kent. Chase was a member of the Ten American Painters. His retrospective was held in 1995 at the Spanierman Gallery, NYC. Chase died in 1916.