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Studio Interior

William Merritt Chase was so eager to study in Europe that when he was finally able to go in 1872, he reportedly exclaimed, "I'd rather go to Europe than go to heaven!" After returning to New York City in 1878, he took an enormous studio in the Tenth Street Studio Building, which he decorated with objects he had collected in Europe—art, furniture, wall hangings, and, indeed, anything that would create a rich visual experience advertising his sophisticated and varied tastes. Known widely through magazine reproductions and through the artist's own paintings, Chase's studio came to signify the cultural maturation of the United States; by emulating the studios of the leading European artists he admired, Chase provided visible evidence that the nation's artists were equal to their European counterparts.

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