William Merritt Chase at the MFA
Spending time at the MFA is always a delight, but it is more often than not on rainy or windy or snowy days that I feel the pull to wander those halls. I always feel so lucky to have it as a retreat and a way to gain a new perspective or simply see something beautiful.
This week I realized I was running out of time to see the William Merritt Chase exhibition at the MFA, so Serena and I met my mom over there to spend a few hours. I definitely recommend that you try to see it before it closes on January 16, especially if you are a fan of impressionism! I did not know his work, and although he was a leader and respected in his lifetime (1849-1916), he is not as well-known today as some of his contemporaries.
Some of his works made me think of Mary Cassatt or John Singer Sargent, both who were working at the same time. Chase’s studio was full of sumptuous and exotic props, which made his way into some of his works. The exhibition also featured some of his arresting portraits of women, including the one below of Dora Wheeler, an artist herself.
Chase had a beach house on Long Island, and the seaside landscapes based on the environs have so much sunshine and brightness, and seem to capture the gusts of salt air.
My favorite paintings were the intimate family scenes: his wife with their new daughter on her shoulder, the girls playing in groups of two or three, books laid out across the floor. These particular paintings feel so personal, and so alive. I had to take another swing around the galleries for a final look before leaving.
Serena also loved the exhibition, although here she is showing her serious side!