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The Tenth Street Studio

William Merritt Chase, American, 1849–1916
Oil on canvas
Made in
New York, New York, United States, North and Central America
New York, New York, United States, North and Central America
Current Location
On View, Gallery 335
36 1/4 x 48 1/4 in. (92.1 x 122.6 cm)
framed: 54 11/16 in. x 66 5/8 in. x 7 in. (138.9 x 169.2 x 17.8 cm)
Credit Line
Bequest of Albert Blair
Public Domain
Object Number
Sumptuous tapestries, exotic metalwork, imported porcelains, fine art, and elegantly adorned patrons were sure to be found in the studios of artists at the end of the 19th century. This painting depicts the studio of its artist, William Merritt Chase, one of the most successful painters of the era. Appreciating—and being seen appreciating—such exquisite finery was an important cultural and social marker for both patron and artist. An invitation to a reception at Chase’s studio (sure to be in the society news) was the most sought after in New York City.
by 1881 -
Samuel M. Dodd (1832-1912), St. Louis, MO, gift of the artist [1]

by 1912 - 1933
Albert Blair (d.1931), St. Louis, MO, gift of Samuel M. Dodd; Susan N. Blair, St. Louis, MO [2]

1933 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, bequest of Albert Blair [3]

[1] S. M. Dodd is listed as the lender of this painting to an 1881 exhibition ["Loan Exhibition." St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts, May 11 - June 1, 1881].

[2] A letter dated April 11, 1924 written by Albert Blair to the executors of his will recounts the history of the painting. He states that Chase sent the painting as a present to Mr. Dodd, who had helped pay for Chase's study in Munich. He wrote "Mr. Dodd kept the painting until a short time before his death (...) he asked me if I had room for a painting (...) Thereupon he made me a present of the Chase" [SLAM document files]. A 1997 publication, however, indicates that the painting "was bought by Samuel M. Dodd of Saint Louis almost immediately after it was finished" ["The Tenth Street Studio Building: Artist-Entrepreneurs from the Hudson River School to the American Impressionists." New York: Parrish Art Museum, 1997, p. 117].

Although Blair's will bequeathed the painting to the Museum, he stipulated that his wife, Susan N. Blair, retain the painting until her death, or upon leaving Saint Louis [SLAM document files].

[3] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, November 9, 1933.
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