Professor and Painter, Bernard Chaet: Artists at Work

An excellent book on artists’ techniques and materials, Artists at Work was written by Yale Professor Emeritus and Painter, Bernard Chaet, published in 1960 by Webb Art Books of Cambridge, Massachusetts

I have just finished re-reading an excellent book by Bernard Chaet, entitled ARTISTS at WORK (A WEBB ART BOOK, Copyright 1960, Cambridge, Massachusetts). The cover description says, “Technical Means and Personal Vision in Painting, Sculpture, and Graphics. Discussions with Josef Albers, Leonard Baskin, Hyman Bloom, James Brooks, Gabor Peterdi, Seymour Lipton, Conrad Marca-Belli, others.”

There is a chapter on the unusual painting materials and techniques of Edouard Vuillard (the French painter died in 1940), and tours of the Bocour and Grumbacher artists’ paint factories, which were then located in downtown Manhattan lofts. It is quite evident that Professor Chaet enjoyed his interviews with the painters, sculptors and print-makers featured in his book. I particularly enjoyed the interview with Leonard Bocour, whose one-floor loft in NYC produced both the high-end Bocour oil paint and the more economical Bellini brand. I have used both, and still have some on hand, even though production stopped in the 1990s.

A Boston native born in 1924, Bernard Chaet studied at the Boston Museum School with Karl Zerbe from 1942 to 1945. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University in Boston and was presented with an Honorary Degree of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1986.

From 1951 until his retirement in 1990, Bernard Chaet taught drawing at Yale University Art School, where he won a Distinguished Teaching Award, later becoming Professor Emeritus.

Bernard Chaet lives and paints in New Haven, Connecticut. He is represented by LewAllen Contemporary in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and by Alpha Gallery in Boston, among other venues. Chaet’s work is in the permanent collections of  the Art Institute of Chicago, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard, the Brooklyn Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery. Corporation collections such as AT&T, Chemical Bank, IBM and New England Life include the work of prolific artist Bernard Chaet.

©M-J de Mesterton