Akron Art Museum Archives

William Merritt Chase

(Williamsburg (now Nineveh), Indiana, 1849 - 1916, New York, New York)
Born in Williamsburg, Indiana, Chase moved with his family to Indianapolis where he took painting lessons with a portraitist. In 1869, Chase went to New York City to attend the National Academy of Design. Three years later, he began supporting himself as a still-life and portrait painter in St. Louis. Funds from several local businessmen enabled him to study at the Munich Royal Academy of Arts, where he associated with fellow students Frank Dubeneck, John Henry Twachtman and J. Frank Currier. Under their influence, he adopted the dark palette and bravura brush of the Munich School.

Arriving in New York City in 1878, he quickly became recognized as a leader of the younger generation of American artists who opposed the meticulously detailed, highly finished style favored at the National Academy of Design.

Returning to Europe, he spent time in Paris with Julian Alden Weir, John Singer Sargent and Alfred Stevens, in Madrid studying the painting of Diego Velásquez, and in Holland painting plein air genre scenes.  In 1886, he returned to America, settling in Brooklyn.

From 1878 to 1910, Chase was probably the most influential art teacher in America. Among his students were Robert Henri, Georgia O’Keeffe, Helen Turner, Charles Hawthorne, Rockwell Kent, Charles Demuth, Charles Sheeler, and Edward Hopper. Once considered an innovative, radical artist, in his later years Chase came to be regarded as academic and conservative. His “art for art’s sake” philosophy was severely attacked by Henri and his group, the Eight (the Ashcan School). Nonetheless, others continued to admire the venerable old artist, who painted religiously until his death in 1916.
Subscribe on Yahoo! Calendar

Yahoo Calendar Instructions:

  1. On your Yahoo Calendar page, find "Subscribed" on the left side-bar and click the "plus" sign
  2. Click "Subscribe to Other Calendars"
  3. Paste the following link in the "iCal Address" field:
  4. Choose a Display Name and Calendar Color and click "Continue"
Help with calendar subscriptions

Help with calendar subscriptions:

Most modern calendar software will allow you to subscribe to online calendars. If you have different software other than those that are listed, you can use the following URL in its subscribe feature to automatically display upcoming events:

Search the Collection

Quick Search


Advanced Search

Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Rights & Reproduction

The use of images, text, and all other media found on this website is limited. Please review the Rights and Reproduction document for details.