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Dane Chanase

Also Known as: Richard Dane Chanase, Richard D. Chanase, Riccardo Dane Chanase

There are different years posted for his birth in Palermo, Italy. One source lists his birthdate as October 21, 1896; another lists the year at 1895. However, the correct date is probably October 21, 1894, the date listed on his WWI draft registration card, on his WWII draft card registering him for the WPA NYC Art War Service, and on the Social Security Death Index. Chanase was a US veteran of WWI. In his last years he lived in a modest house in Seagate Coney Island, Brooklyn N.Y which overlooked the Atlantic Ocean and the Varazano Narrows; the beach was his backyard. Chanase died July 15, 1975 in Brooklyn, NY.

Sheva Ausubel (1896-1957) was the wife of Dane Chanase (1895-1975), an accomplished artist in her own right and an active artist member of the W.P.A. art program.

THE SCRAP BOOK:

Most of below was taken from his personal Scrap Book that covered the years of 1927 to approximately 1933.

From news articles, it would seem he arrived in Paris France in about 1927. At times between 1927 to the end of 1930, he traveled to Italy on a sketching trip while keeping Paris as his European home base. In 1930, Chanase participated in an exhibition at the Salon des Artistes Francais (May – June, 1930). His two canvases shown were “Silence” and “Saint-Tropez.” Paris Art Notes in “The New York Herald (Paris),” 5-12-1930. “He had a big interest in Italian Primitives” from “The New York Herald (Paris),” June 1930. Chanase also participated in the “Holiday Hilarity” exhibition at Barreiro’s with a canvas titled “Positano” from “The New York Herald (Paris),” June 1930. He also held a one man show (his fourth career one-man show; his first in Paris) at Barreiro’s, exhibiting 33 of his works from January 15-29, 1931.

After about 5 year stint in Europe and Paris France where he made a mark as a very capable artist, Chanase returned to the US with his wife, Sheva, on October 26, 1932 onboard the ship “Europa.”

Some of his WPA work included murals for the School of Aviation Trades as well as the murals at Welfare Island Hospital, New York, Baron de Hirsch Trade School, and Columbus High School, Washington, D.C.

References:

Mural Painting in New York City: Under the WPA Federal Art Project by Greta Berman (1978)

American Prints in the Library of Congress; A Catalog of the Collection by Karen F Beall (ISBN: 0801810779)

“Dane Chanase papers, 1930-1960,” (2000 items; unmicrofilmed), Archives of American Art Collections, http://siris-archives.si.edu/

The Art of Sheva Ausubel, Edited and published by Dane Chanase. Paperback. 4to – over 9¾” – 12″ tall. 46p. illus.includes 3p. biography by Nathan Ausubel, Sheva’s brother. printing circa 1960

- biography and photographs contributed by John Caputi

The following is from The Art of the Print website:

“Dane Chanase: A New York City painter, muralist and printmaker, Dane Chanase was born in Italy and apparently studied art in Paris. During the late 1920′s he exhibited his art that city at the Salon d’Automne and elsewhere. In the early 1930′s Chanase moved permanently to New York and began working for the New York Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) completing both murals and original prints for this institution. The artist’s wife, Ausubel Sheva (1896-1957), was also commissioned by the N.Y. W.P.A. for her weavings and tapestry designs.”

“Dane Chanase was a full member of and exhibitor with the Society of Independent Artists. Today his art is included in such major collections as the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The Dane Chanase papers are housed at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.”

“In his fine art, Chanase developed a unique style of abstraction, particularly in his figure studies and portraits. Some aspects of his art are reminiscent of the early twentieth century art of Giacomo Balla and other Italian Futurists, but his brilliant use of contrasting forms and utilization of light and dark are all his own.”

“As an original printmaker, Dane Chanase specialized mainly in the art of the linocut. Most of his work in this medium was printed by himself in very small editions. “Girls and Pigeons” is without a doubt a masterpiece of Chanase’s linocut art.”