A perennial favorite of museum visitors, the works of William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) embody the quintessential characteristics of American Impressionism: outdoor landscapes, a colorful palette, and an energetic brushstroke. He was also a portrait painter of the first rank, a master of still life, a renowned teacher, and a leader of artists' societies.
This gorgeous book, the first of a four-volume definitive catalogue, features Chase's stunning paintings in pastel, which constitute a major and previously understudied body of work by the artist; monotypes; painted tiles and plates; watercolors; and prints. Reconstructing Chase's oeuvre is a daunting task, as the artist left few records of any kind, and no documentation of his individual works exists. Furthermore, Chase's paintings and pastels have been forged in great numbers throughout the years, and many of these works still surface on the art market. Making this long-awaited volume even more valuable is a list of every known exhibition of Chase's work during the artist's lifetime, selected examples of major post-1917 exhibitions, and an essay on Chase's innovative pastel technique.
Ronald G. Pisano, who was curator of the Heckscher Museum of Art and director of the Parrish Art Museum, researched and prepared the complete catalogue of Chase's work for thirty years before his untimely death in 2000. D. Frederick Baker is a director of the Pisano/Chase Catalogue Raisonne Project. Marjorie Shelley is Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge of the Paper Conservation Department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.