William Merritt Chase papers, circa 1890-1964

Chase, William Merritt, b. 1849 d. 1916
Painter, Art teacher
Active in New York, N.Y.

This site provides access to the papers of William Merritt Chase in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2014, and total 200 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art

Collection size: 0.3 linear feet

Collection Summary: The papers of New York painter and art instructor, William Merritt Chase, measure 0.5 linear feet and date from circa 1890 to 1964. Papers include a resolution of the Art Club of Philadelphia on Chase's death, letters, writings by Chase consisting of typescripts of lectures and lecture notes, blank postcards primarily depicting reproductions of artwork, a scrapbook, and photographs of Chase, his family, homes, and studios, and photographs of works of art.

Biographical/Historical Note: William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) was a painter and instructor in New York, New York. and Shinnecock, Long Island. Chase taught at the Art Students League until 1896 and at the Shinnecock Hills Summer Art School from 1891-1896, and lived in a house there designed by Stanford White.

The papers were received in a series of accessions between 1969 and 2010: the lectures and speeches, a 1912 letter, and photocopies of a dinner menu and photos of artwork were donated by Roger Storm, widower of Chase's daughter Helen, in 1969; photographic copy prints of Chase's summer home, studio and art school were donated by art collector Fred D. Bentley in 1986; and 2 letters, 2 postcards, the Chase family scrapbook, vintage photographs and blank postcards were donated in 2010 by D. Frederick Baker, author of the Chase catalogue raisonné. Baker received the material from Chase's estate via Chase's grandson, Jackson Case Storm.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

How to Use this Collection

  • Read the Finding Aid for this digitized collection
  • The collection was digitized in 2014 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website.
    Microfilm reels N69-115, N69-119, and N69-137 containing papers lent for microfilming are available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Also in the Archives are materials loaned for microfilming by Robert S. Chase and Chapellier Galleries in 1969, including an additional family scrapbook, undated, (reel N69-115) containing photographs of Chase, his wife and children, a notice of sale of the Chase house in Shinnecock Hills, N.Y. designed by Stanford White, and photographs of the house. On reel N69-119 are circa 200 photographs of Chase at work, his wife, his studios in Philadelphia and on 5th Avenue and 10th Street New York City, and numerous snapshots of characters in a tableau vivent that include his family, friends, Mary S. Moore Cross, and others. Reel N69-137 contains letters from Chase to his wife during his travels abroad, one letter received from John Singer Sargent requesting the use of Chase's studio for the famous party Sargent gave for Isabella Stewart Gardner in 1890, and a six-page typescript, "Reminiscences of a Student. by F. Usher De Voll, and photographs of Chase's studio.