This summer, The Phillips Collection presents a major international exhibition on American artist William Merritt Chase (1849–1916). A renowned figure in the international art circles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Chase was a brilliant observer of contemporary life, an innovative painter, and an influential teacher. Marking the centennial of his death, this retrospective—the first in more than three decades—explores the interrelationships in Chase’s work across subject and media. William Merritt Chase: A Modern Master is on view at the Phillips beginning June 4, 2016.
Co-organized by The Phillips Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, William Merritt Chase brings together more than 75 of the artist’s best works from all phases of his four-decade-long career, from portraits and figurative paintings, to urban park scenes, domestic interiors, still lifes, and landscapes. The exhibition also includes several fine examples of Chase’s pastels to highlight the integral role the medium played within his oeuvre.
Drawing on significant new scholarship in the field since the last Chase retrospective in 1983, this exhibition provides a fresh appraisal of the artist and his important contribution to the history of American art. The exhibition also focuses attention on Chase’s role as a highly influential and devoted teacher, who trained and inspired the next generation of American artists, including Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Joseph Stella, who feature prominently in the Phillips’s permanent collection. This exhibition will be the first Chase retrospective to be exhibited abroad, traveling to the International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice, Italy, in February 2017 after appearing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, October 2016–January 2017.