Woman in White

William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916)

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This portrait of a young woman in white summer attire wearing a floral hat was painted for a class in 1902 while Chase taught at the Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art, located outside New York City. As a teacher Chase sometimes executed “demonstration pieces” directly in front of his students, affording them the opportunity to see him in the process of painting, as captured in the photograph below. Chase encouraged his students to paint quickly and loosely, as he does in this portrait, using the medium of oil paint in order to capture color, form, and the effects of natural light. These approaches made him one of the most important American Impressionist painters.

Chase began his teaching career in 1878 in New York City at the Art Students League. In 1891, he became the director of the Shinnecock Hills Summer School—the largest of its kind devoted to outdoor painting.

Object Information

William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916)
creation date
oil on canvas
29 x 19 in.
36 x 25-1/2 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mrs. Albert E. Metzger in memory of Albert E. Metzger
Public Domain
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945

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