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Chase, William Merritt

Born: 1849 AD
Died: 1916 AD
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1849 – He was born on the 1st day of November of this year in Williamsburg (now Nineveh), Indiana, to the family of a local merchant.


1861 – Chase’s father moved the family to Indianapolis in this year and employed his son as a salesman in the family business. Chase showed an early interest in art, and studied under local, self-taught artists Barton S. Hays and Jacob Cox.


1869 – After a brief stint in the Navy, his teachers urged him to travel to New York to further his artistic training. He arrived in New York in this year, met and studied with Joseph Oriel Eaton for a short time, then enrolled in the National Academy of Design under Lemuel Wilmarth, a student of the famous French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme.


1870 – Declining family fortunes forced him to leave New York for St. Louis, Missouri, where his family was then based. While he worked to help support his family he became active in the St. Louis art community, winning prizes for his paintings at a local exhibition.


1871 – He also exhibited his first painting at the National Academy in this year. His talent elicited the interest of wealthy St. Louis collectors who arranged for him to visit Europe for two years, in exchange for paintings and Chase’s help in securing European art for their collections.


1877 – He traveled to Venice, Italy in this year with Duveneck and John Henry Twachtman before returning to the United States in the summer of 1878, a highly skilled artist representing the new wave of European-educated American talent.


1878 – He exhibited his painting Ready for the Ride (collection of the Union League Club) with the newly-formed Society of American Artists in this year. He also opened a studio in New York in the Tenth Street Studio Building, home to many of the important painters of the day.

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