For William Merritt Chase, they were initially a good way of raising money. Later they turned into performance art when he used them as demonstrations for his students.
Why did he paint so many still lifes? And why did so many of them feature fresh fish?
A survey of some of his better-known students, from Emma Lampert Cooper, Joseph Stella, and George Bellows, to Georgia O’Keeffe.
The next time that you are brushed off by a doctor, nurse, teacher, or any other professional who seems to be following a flowchart or checklist, blame it on the cold night of 10-11 November 1619.