About the Artist
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, to take advantage of the growing American market and to circumvent high import tariffs.
William Chadwick attended local elementary schools and demonstrated a talent for art throughout his adolescence. Shortly after his high school graduation, he moved to New York, where he enrolled in the Art Students League. In the fall of 1898, he entered the Antique class of John H. Twachtman. His other teachers were George B. Bridgman, Kenyon Cox, H. Siddons Mowbray, and he also painted under the guidance of Bryson Burroughs and Joseph R. DeCamp.
During the summer of 1901, William sailed to Europe. His itinerary is unknown, but eventually he went to Rome, where he studied architecture and visited museums. Extant works from this time reveal a broad, simple style with no trace of impressionism.
Chadwick returned to the Art Students League for the 1901-02 winter term. That spring, he went to Old Lyme, Connecticut and took quarters at the Florence Griswold House. Old Lyme was about to become a colony of American impressionists. However, most of the work completed by Chadwick that summer was reflected of the lingering tonalist style. In the spring of 1903 he showed at the Society of American Artists, his debut as a professional artist, and he became treasurer of the Art Students League. In New York, Chadwick shared his studio-residence with Harry Hoffman and Will Howe Foote, and spent summers in Old Lyme.
By the spring of 1907, Chadwick was confident enough of his work 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, and for a time he exhibited regularly at various venues. The Salmagundi Club was the only organization that Chadwick was interested in joining. Later in Rome, he worked with Colin Campbell Cooper, and he began painting more plein-air impressionist landscapes than figurative and genre subjects. Back in Paris in the spring of 1914, Chadwick spent time with Alson Skinner Clark, Robert Vonnoh, Frederick Frieseke, and others, most of whom were American.
During that time, Chadwick was somewhat influenced by Frieseke’s color, but he retained his own conservative style. The advent of war forced the Chadwicks to go to London in the fall of 1914 and then to St. Ives, Cornwall. There the artist found Guy Wiggins, Henry B. Snell, and several other American friends. Then back in Old Lyme, Chadwick executed striking examples of American impressionism during the next decade. In the 1924/25 and 25/26 seasons, Chadwick taught at the Savannah Art School. His one-man show at Telfair Academy was praised by the press.
Chadwick continued his work in Old Lyme, other parts of New England, and Florida, then he died at age eighty-three in Old Lyme.
Wilmington Society of Fine Arts, Paintings by William Chadwick, 1927.
Richard H. Love, William Chadwick 1879-1962. Chicago: Haase-Mumm, 1978.