William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) May 7 - June 5 1976
"Chase has too often been dismissed solely for his importance as a teacher, and regarded too readily as an eclectic painter. This exhibition has been deliberately designed to bring together imporant works from each of his major periods. It is an attempt to play down his influence by and on other artists, and to present, instead, a view of the concentration of his own energies as a painter as he worked through each phase developing a marked progression in style.
The Parrish Art Museum has special ties with Chase. The museum is closely associated with the founding of the Shinnecock School (1891-1902), and in the mid-1950s the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mrs. Robert Malcolm Littlejohn, collected, and left to the museum, a large number of important Chase paintings which were the nucleus of what is now the largest public collection of works by Chase in the country. The museum is privileged to have, as Associate Curator for this collection, a leading Chase scholar, Ronald Pisano, and we are pleased to have had the full cooperation of M. Knoedler and Company, Inc. to present this benefit exhibition, listed separately, and to members of the Chase family, who have allowed us access to information and a number of paintings which have not been available to the public since Chase's death in 1916. Their generosity has, we hope, allowed us to present an exhibition which will give to the general public, for the first time, a complete view of Chase's scope and full visual evidence of the artist's unique contribution to American painting."
--Jean M. Weber, past Director of The Parrish Art Museum