Caroline Stehlin’s brief career as an artist began in 1900 as a student of William Merritt Chase. It is unknown whether or not she took classes with him privately or enrolled in the New York School of Art (originally named the Chase School of Art). Like many of Chase’s students, during the summer months Stehlin followed him to eastern Long Island to study at the Shinnecock School. Chase taught there until 1902, so it seems to follow that Stehlin attended the school for two or three summers; thereafter enrolling in his summer study abroad art classes in Europe. Unfortunately, it is not known for how many years she attended these classes and how close she was to Chase. However, upon viewing Stehlin’s paintings separately and as a body of work, the influence and spirit of Chase in addition to the changing face of American painting are clear.
Stehlin exhibited for approximately eleven years at such esteemed institutions as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1904–11), the National Academy of Design (1907–9), and the Art Institute of Chicago (1907–9). While the length of her career appears to have been short, Stehlin’s paintings exhibit skill, finesse, and most importantly the mark of an original artist.