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William Merritt Chase


William Merritt Chase

William Merritt Chase was an American painter, known as an exponent of Impressionism and as a teacher. He is also responsible for establishing the Chase School, which later would become Parsons School of Design.


The Keynote


As a teacher he probably exercised a wider influence on American painting than any other artist has ever done.—Kenyon Cox, 1922

William Merritt Chase began his teaching career in 1878 at one of the first established art schools in America, The Art Students League. The school, founded in New York in 1875 by artists seeking to break free from the academic, restrictive conventions of the National Academy of Design, offered a more liberal approach sympathetic to the new modern spirit in American art. There Chase began what would become a lifelong commitment to teaching alongside his artistic practice, quickly establishing a reputation as a magnetic yet demanding teacher.


Portrait of Miss Dora Wheeler

Portrait of Miss Dora Wheeler (1883), oil on canvas, 157.5 x 165.1 cm, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH. Wikimedia Commons.

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