Biographical Information

Harry Chase painting for sale

A remarkable oil painting by Harry Chase is for sale by the current owner. Entitled Low Tide, Dutch Coast, the work was painted in 1883 in New York. For more information, click this link:

Low Tide, Dutch Coast for sale


A New York Times article which incorporates a section about my research into the life and work of Harry Chase was published June 13, 2014. You can read the article at the link below. Scroll down in the article to the black and white photogravure of one of Harry's paintings and the section about my research begins immediately below the photo. Link here:  James Jebusa Shannon's portraits rescued from obscurity


Who was Harry Chase?

Born 1853, Woodstock, Vermont - Died 1889, Sewanee, Tennessee.

Virtually unknown today, Harry Chase was one of the vitally important members of the elite American art corps of the second half of the Nineteenth Century. And, although it would be disingenuous to suggest that Harry holds the same rank of significance as some of his contemporaries such as John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, James Abbot McNeill Whistler or William Merritt Chase, he was without doubt an artist of importance in the American art circles of his time, and he deserves to be more fully known today for his contributions to that era. In his particular genre of marine painting, Harry was perhaps in a class by himself with only a handful of artists such as Arthur Quartley, Winslow Homer, Mauritz F. H. De Haas or members of the Moran family attaining comparable significance in this field during his career, and Harry was often referred to as one of the greatest of the American marine painters in the newspapers and journals of the day. Yet, very few will have even heard of Harry Chase today. Likewise, history has been particularly unkind to Harry and he is now missing the accolades which were his while he was alive, and of these there were many to be sure. Harry is also denied the standing and recognition due him even now for the important part he played in the coming of age of American Art, a period which pushed later avant-garde American artists into the Twentieth Century. Moreover, as his legacy is flung much farther a field than is typical of an artist, and his influence can still be felt in unexpected and curious ways to this day, Harry’s life and work rightly justify closer examination.

Harry Chase was born in Woodstock, Vt., in 1853, grew up on a farm in Iowa, landed in St Louis as a teenager, and proceeded to study fine art at august institutions such as the National Academy of Design in New York City (1871) and the Royal Bavarian Academy of Fine Art in Munich (1872–1875). Harry also studied under Soyer in Paris (1877–1878) and Mesdag in The Hague (1879). Famous for his paintings of marine and coastal settings, he was considered to one of the finest American artists in this genre, and was especially known for his scenes of the fisher folk of Holland. Harry was a well-known artist in his day, but has since fallen into obscurity. I believe he deserves to be better known and I have undertaken this effort to illuminate his life and work. If you have any paintings, photographs, letters, documents, drawings or information regarding Harry Chase and would like to contribute to my effort, please email comments or questions to hscjrart@gmail.com

All pages © 2014 by Jeffrey B. Chace. Written permission required for duplication.



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