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Wright Museum of Art to unveil recently restored landscape painting on Thurs. Feb. 11

February 8, 2016
William Merritt Chase Untitled Landscape, Hollensteiner lecture

Dr. Alicia Longwell, the leading researcher in the field, will speak to the painting’s importance

On Thursday, Feb. 11, the Wright Museum of Art will host Dr. Alicia Longwell as she delivers a presentation on a recently restored piece by American painter William Merritt Chase, Untitled Landscape. Longwell’s presentation, “William Merritt Chase in Brooklyn: The Making of the Modern American Landscape, 1885-1890,” will begin at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m., prior to her talk. The event is free and open to the public.

Each year, as part of the Wanda Hollensteiner Conservation Lecture series, a different piece of art from the Wright Museum’s collection is restored and a prominent art historian delivers a lecture on the subject at Beloit College. This year, Dr. Longwell will deliver the talk. Dr. Longwell is the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator at the Parrish Art Museum on Long Island N.Y, and a leading scholar of Chase’s work. 

Her presentation is the culmination of months of work says James Pearson, exhibit director for the Wright Museum. “The process of restoring Chase’s piece starts with the continuing generosity of the Hollensteiners, involves college departments, museum staff, and conservation professionals. Bringing a respected scholar, let alone the leading scholar of the field, to conclude all of this work lends credence to the process as well as to the artwork.”  

Chase is a particularly significant figure in the history of American art, says Pearson. “Chase had traveled to France and studied plein-air painting,” Pearson says. “In 1891, around the time he painted the restored piece in the collection, Chase became the founding director of the Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art, a ‘plein-air’ academy.”

“Chase’s works at Shinnecock have become some of the most admired canvasses of American Impressionism,” Pearson says. 

The Wright Museum of Art sits on the edge of the Beloit College campus at the intersection of Bushnell and Prospect. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.