William Chadwick immigrated to the United States in 1884 when the artist's family left their home in England to settle in Holyoke, Massachusetts - a locale made famous by Thomas Cole's"View from Mount Holyoke."Although Chadwick was raised in an area where the style of the Hudson River School thrived, he pushed beyond the landscape views of this earlier tradition to create works in the Impressionist style. Influenced by Joseph DeCamp and John Twatchman at The Art Students League in New York, Chadwick quickly adopted the energetic brushstrokes and intimate scenes associated with American Impressionism. Following his studies at various institutions including the Boston Museum School of Art, Chadwick spent a number of years traveling to different locations within New England and Europe, including a three year sojourn to Italy from 1912-1915. Upon his return from Italy, the artist and his family settled in Old Lyme, Connecticut - an area with which Chadwick was familiar given his previous participation in the Old Lyme artists' colony. Chadwick spent the rest of his life in Old Lyme, devoting himself to the creation of Impressionists works that studied the en plein air effects of light and color. Some of the artist's finest canvases often signal the influence of both French and American Impressionism in their attention to atmospheric effects and the representation of quiet, personal scenes depicting individuals lost in reverie. Chadwick's paintings are in the collection of many New England museums, including the Mattatuck Museum of the Mattatuck Historical Society and the Florence Griswold Museum in Connecticut, as well as the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum in Massachusetts and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.
Edwards, Lee M. Domestic Bliss, Family Life in American Painting, 1840-1910. New York: The Hudson River Museum of Westchester, Inc., 1986.
Falk, Peter Hastings, ed.. Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999.
Preato, Robert R and Langer, Sandra L. Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Transformations in the Modern American Mode 1885-1945. New York: Grand Central Art Galleries, Inc., 1988.
Biography courtesy of Questroyal Fine Art, LLC, www.antiquesandfineart.com/questoroyal
William Chadwick was born in 1879 in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England and died on Aug. 3, 1962 in Old Lyme, Connecticut In 1902, William Chadwick, at twenty-three, was introduced to Old Lyme through colleagues at the Art Students League in New York. At the time Chadwick's painting interests focused on portraiture and figure subjects. During that first of many summers spent in Old Lyme, Chadwick began experimenting with landscape painting, no doubt influenced by the many well-respected landscapists already attracted to the growing art colony.
For the next several years Chadwick shared studio residences in New York with Will Howe Foote and Harry Hoffman and spent summers with them at the Griswold House in Old Lyme. The painters and their families were close friends all their lives, and all of them eventually made Old Lyme their permanent home. As Richard H. Love has noted, however, "at this time they established a working orbit between New York City and Connecticut, not vastly different from the precedent set by Twachtman, Robinson and Weir."
Chadwick studied with Joseph DeCamp at the Art Students League, and the artist's early painting shows the mark of his instructor's Boston School style. While in Old Lyme, Chadwick gradually absorbed the influences of the colony's older painters, particularly Willard Metcalf and Walter Griffin. Incorporating elements from both the Boston and Old Lyme Schools, Chadwick developed his own conservative impressionistic style, marked by delicate and subtle tones.
Chadwick married Pauline Bancroft of Wilmington, Delaware, in June of 1910, and, two years later, the couple left for a lengthy trip to Europe. Most of their time abroad was spent in Italy, where Metcalf and Griffin visited them.
In 1915 Chadwick and his wife purchased a house on Johnny Cake Hill in Old Lyme. For the next forty years the artist resolutely carried on the Impressionist tradition, painting the seasonal changes in the countryside around Old Lyme. Additionally, Chadwick made frequent sketching trips to Monhegan Island, Maine, Vermont, and Bermuda, often with one or more of his artist friends, such as Foote, Hoffman, or Charles Ebert.
The Telfair Academy in Savannah, Georgia, hosted Chadwick's first one-man show in February 1927. One month later basically the same show was presented at the Wilmington (Delaware) Society of Fine Arts. Both exhibitions were highly praised by local critics.
Although William Chadwick never had great commercial success, he was well respected by his artist-colleagues in the Lyme Art Association. Following the painter's death in 1962, the association held a memorial show of Chadwick's paintings in 1963. Referring to the exhibition, the artist Nelson C. White wrote:
William Chadwick's work is distinguished for a sensitive and subtle Impressionism . . . . he evokes the mood of the shifting seasons, effects of sunshine and cloud shadows, the laurel of late spring and the snow of winter.
Chadwick recently gained national exposure in a major retrospective, William Chadwick, 1879-1962: An American Impressionist, that opened at the Lyme Historical Society in August, 1978, and circulated to several museums in the eastern United States.- The exhibition was organized by R. H. Love Galleries of Chicago. Chadwick's work is represented in the Lyme Historical Society, the Lyman Allyn Museum, and the National Collection of Fine Arts.
An Exhibition of Paintings by William Chadwick. Exhibition Catalogue., Wilmington [Delaware] Society of Fine Arts, 1927.
Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton