Girl in a Japanese Costume
William Merritt Chase
Japanese textiles, kimonos, swords, inros (small boxes that hung from the sash of kimonos), and ceramics were de rigueur in artistic American interiors of the 1890s, in keeping with Americans’ growing interest in Japanese art and aesthetics. With an abundance of Asian textiles and foreign costumes in his studio, William Merritt Chase was poised to respond to the growing popularity of Japanese costume subjects among his American and foreign peers. By the late 1880s, he began to portray selected models, often female members of his family, robed in beautifully patterned kimonos. Girl in a Japanese Costume is an example of such a work and, like the majority of his “kimono paintings,” depicts a young woman in a studio setting gazing directly at the artist, suggesting the closeness of this artist-model relationship.
The two kimonos on view nearby are unlike those that Chase would have had in his studio. Chase, like other followers of the Aesthetic Movement, would have owned silk kimonos, embroidered or hand painted in bright colors with bird and flower motifs. Japan produced many Westernized “kimonos” for customers like Chase who wanted the look but did not want to wear them “properly.” In contrast, the two kimonos on view were made for a Japanese, working-class user. They are relatively rough, in cotton and hemp, dyed once in indigo, and were made to be worn all day, every day.
Oil on canvas
24 5/8 x 15 11/16 in. (62.5 x 39.8 cm)
Frame: 36 1/4 x 27 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. (92.1 x 69.9 x 12.1 cm) (show scale)
Signed upper left: "Wm. M. Chase"
This item is not on view
Gift of Isabella S. Kurtz in memory of Charles M. Kurtz
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916). Girl in a Japanese Costume, ca. 1890. Oil on canvas, 24 5/8 x 15 11/16 in. (62.5 x 39.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Isabella S. Kurtz in memory of Charles M. Kurtz, 86.197.2 (Photo: , 86.197.2_SL3.jpg)
overall, 86.197.2_SL3.jpg., 2018
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.