Mar 13, 2007

Portrait of Dora Wheeler

Portrait of Dora Wheeler


William Merritt Chase

(American, 1849-1916)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 180.6 x 188.6 x 11 cm (71 1/8 x 74 1/4 x 4 5/16 in.); Unframed: 159.8 x 166.4 cm (62 15/16 x 65 1/2 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Boudinot Keith in memory of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1921.1239

Did you know?

Chase and Wheeler worked together to raise money for constructing the Statue of Liberty's pedestal.


Dora Wheeler became Chase's first student when he returned from overseas study in Munich and set up a teaching studio in New York. At the time, few American artists accepted women as private pupils. After her course of study, Wheeler joined her mother in launching a successful decorating firm, one of the first businesses in the country to be operated entirely by women. For the firm, she designed luxurious textiles, and the embroidered silk tapestry that fills the background in her portrait references her occupational interest. Chase's portrait was awarded a gold medal at an international exhibition of contemporary art in Munich in 1883, and later that year was also shown in Paris. At some later point, the painting was acquired by the sitter, who subsequently donated it to the museum.


An Independent Woman
Decorative Details
Dora Wheeler and Jeptha Homer Wade
Gallery Hangouts: Portrait of Dora Wheeler
See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email