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William Chadwick


Gallery Database:

William Chadwick (1879 - 1962).  "Old Lyme Farm in Winter," oil on canvas, 24 x 30, signed, with numerous exhibition labels attached.


Curator's Comment:

Noted art scholar William Gerdts tells us that the second generation of American impressionists gathered in three colonies, with the New York school painting in Old Lyme and later Woodstock. (New Hope, PA--led by Redfield--and Boston/Gloucster
under Tarbell formed the other centers.) In Connecticut, the Lyme painters led by Henry Ward Ranger and later Guy Wiggins often lived in Florence Griswold's bed and breakfast known as "The Gris." And William Chadwick, a painter's painter, was at the center of the group. Chadwick constantly revised his work and produced some of the greatest paintings to come from Lyme. Many are in Museums--and our work has been widely exhibited nationwide--it is one of the few Chadwick masterpieces still in private hands.

William Chadwick was born in England to Mary Alice Earnshaw and Day Chadwick. Having established a successful manufacturing business of woolen fabrics in England, Day Chadwick relocated his factory to Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1882. Shortly after his high school graduation, the son moved to New York, where he enrolled in the Art Students League. In the fall of 1898, he entered the class of John H. Twachtman. Among his other teachers were George B. Bridgman, Kenyon Cox, and Joseph R. DeCamp. In the spring or 1902, he went to Old Lyme, and took quarters at the Gris, helping to shape what was about to become a colony of American impressionists.


In the spring of 1903 he showed at the Society of American Artists, making his debut as a professional artist, and he became treasurer of the Art Students League. By the spring of 1907, Chadwick was confident enough to submit two paintings to the National Academy of Design annual, and a year later he showed his work for the first time at the annual of the Pennsylvania Academy. He next went to Rome, where he worked with Colin Campbell Cooper, and began painting more plein-air impressionist landscapes than figurative and genre subjects. And returning to Lyme, his impressionism literally blossomed. While RH Love thinks Chadwick was influenced by Frieseke's use of color, in Old Lyme he was much more influenced by Willard Metcalf and Walter Griffin. Vonnoh was another influence. In 1915, he purchased a home in Old Lyme, and lived there for the next forty years.  Chadwick executed striking examples of American impressionism during his lifetime. He died at age eighty-three in Old Lyme.


New England Spring
brought over $98,000


The Artist, ca. 1940

On the Porch shows Flo Griswold's daughter
-- of Philip Hale's 'Crimson Rambler' fame

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