Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chase 3

images from
In 1891 Chase opened a summer landscape painting school out on Long Island near the village of Shinnecock. Student works were critiqued on Mondays. Often hundreds of them were passed in front of Chase for critique. With the help of his wealthy patrons the next year a house was built for Chase and his family that was designed by his friend Sanford White. Chase began painting in a higher key palette outdoors. He was beginning to teach an out door style influenced by the French impressionists which were becoming all the rage.

There were usually about a hundred students at a time and some of the best painters of the next generation were there. Rockwell Kent,, Charles Hawthorne, Gifford and Reynolds Beal, and Howard Chandler Christie were all students at Shinnecock. The house in the background was the house built for Chase.

Chase actually taught only on Monday and Tuesdays, but his students painted full time all week. Within a few years there were other schools started around the country based on Chase's model. For instance the Cape School of Art founded by Charles Hawthorne, a Chase student, and then continued under Henry Henshe was one such school.

Here is gray day, handled nicely.

There was an explosion of interest in outdoor painting that lasted fore several generations. Many of the painters who were the stars of the next generation had links to William Merrit Chase, like Dennis Miller Bunker, Frank Duveneck, and Maurice Braun.

biographical information partly from William Merrit Chase, by Ronald G. Pisano. Below is a link if you want a copy of this excellent book.


Philip Koch said...

Didn't know Rockwell Kent studied out on Long Island with Chase (!).

Gregory Becker said...

Those skies look like they were done by George Clausen. LOL I wear socks all the time. But I was right you knocked my socks off. I asked my self an interesting question recently...I like asking myself questions that challenge my own intentions...I asked, If no one had the ability to see would I still pursue visual arts? I answered yes because I am compelled to do it. And yet, all of us want to share something with someone else. I realized that the further I go the more I want for the painting and less for me. Maybe what I am sharing is something more than me.
Have you ever thought about things like that?

Tim said...

Very informative Mr Stapleton! I just came back from the Joaquin Sorolla show in Madrid, and was completely blown away by the sheer size and quality of his pleine air paintings. I then wen to London to see the "From Corot to Monet" pleine air landscape show, also very good, but Chase, Sargent, Zorn, Sorolla and the Wanderers belong to some of my faves.
I def. think we are having a small revival of sorts now too, a lot of the painters and illustrators around the world are rediscovering the value of painting outdoors, (plus its cool as hell to set up in the middle of a town square and just paint, and the ladies love it, im sure that has something to do with it too...) None the less, its revival time!

Cheers TiĀµ

Stapleton Kearns said...

When you thik of the THOUSAND or so students who must have passed through there, it figures that some number of them would have gone on to become important.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Only recently have I heard the question posed that if no one ever saw thenm would you still make paintings. I had never actually thought about that before. I had thought long and hard about arguments involving quality and perception. One runs something like this. If Rembrandt made a painting that he thought was a knockout and stuck it into a closet that got walled over and the painting remained hidden there to this day, could it still be a great painting? A good painting? does some one have to see it and decide that? Who? Or could it posess qualities that made it good on its own.
Could I have thrown away a GOOD painting that no one else had seen?

Stapleton Kearns said...

I wish I had seen that show. The revival is happening I suppose. It all seems so weird to me, I have been here all along.