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William Merritt Chase papers, circa 1890-1964

Biographical Note

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) was one of America's most prominent painters and art instructors in New York, New York and Shinnecock, Long Island, during the late 19th century. One of the first Impressionist landscape painters in the U. S, Chase was also a highly accomplished portrait and still life painter.
Born in Indiana, Chase lived in New York and St. Louis, Missouri, before traveling to Europe and studying at the Royal Academy in Munich. After returning to New York in 1878, he taught at the Art Students League until 1896. His studio in the Tenth Street Studio building became an important gathering place for artists, students and patrons. Chase was also a member of the Tile Club whose members shared an interest in the decorative arts and sought to have their designs translated into ceramic tiles, from 1877-1887.
Chase became one of the most important teachers of American artists around the turn of the century. He opened the Shinnecock Hills Summer Art School in 1891 and taught there until 1902, living in a house at Shinnecock designed by Stanford White. In 1896 he opened the Chase School of Art and also taught at the Brooklyn Art Association in 1887, and 1891-1896, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1896-1909.
Chase was a member of the National Academy of Design, and was president of the Society of American Artists from 1885 to 1895.