“Chasing History” Celebrates William Merritt Chase
By Joan BaumPosted on
In what is surely a clever title, MeredithKennedy, the great granddaughter of William Merritt Chase (WMC), has given the name “Chasing History” to her latest project, which is to capture in digitally manipulated photographic images, the artistic spirit, subject matter and style of her famous forebear. As visitors to the new Parrish Art Museum know, Chase has a room of his own (the Susan Weber Gallery), and the Parrish can boast having the largest permanent collection of Chase in the world—for good reason. Not only was WMC (1849–1916), an exemplar of American Impressionism, he was also a memorable teacher (he founded The Chase School of Art in 1896, which became the New York School of Art and then Parsons School for Design) and a superb collector of European painting. His home studio in Shinnecock Hills, a famous gathering place for artists, sophisticates and bon vivants, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as the William Merritt Chase Homestead in 1983.