: This color illustration portrays a young woman with golden-brown hair wearing an off-the-shoulder blouse and a yellow skirt. A single stone of emerald green hangs from a narrow band around her forehead. The artist, Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952), was famous for his portraits of the so-called "Christy Girl," his romanticized vision of the modern young society woman.
Born in Morgan County, Ohio, Christy spent his youth on his parents' farm near Duncan Falls. Christy’s mother encouraged his work as a painter and sketch artist. During the 1890s Christy moved to New York City and studied under William Merritt Chase, who encouraged his students to paint their subjects in a realistic manner. After achieving success as an illustrator, Christy open his own studio and began painting portraits and landscape scenes.
Christy became a well-known artist because of his involvement in the Spanish-American War. During this conflict, he accompanied American soldiers into battle. He provided magazines, such as "Scribner's," "Harper's," "The Century", and "Leslie's Weekly," with drawings of the battlefields. After the war, Christy became famous for his artwork depicting the "Christy Girl," whose image he used in books, magazines, calendars, and even patriotic posters.
Over the next decade, Christy emerged as one of America's most popular artists and illustrators. He returned to his childhood home in Ohio and opened his own studio. His fame continued to grow during the 1910s. He returned to New York and opened a studio in 1915. During World War I he drew posters encouraging his fellow Americans to support the war effort. Once again, the "Christy Girl" figured prominently in his artwork.
Following the war, Christy slowly turned away from painting the "Christy Girl." During the 1920s the artist painted the portraits of a number of well-known Americans, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Eddie Rickenbacker. At the beginning of the Great Depression, Christy's popularity briefly declined, but the artist returned to painting women and landscape scenes. His celebrity status revived, he created commemorative paintings of historical events. His most famous painting from this era shows the signing of the United States Constitution. It hangs in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol Building. Two of Christy's works from this period also hang in the Ohio Statehouse.
Christy died in New York on March 3, 1952 and was buried in the Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06982 Subjects
: Christy, Howard Chandler, 1873-1952; Illustration; Morgan County (Ohio); Artists--Ohio Places
: 'Christy Girl' illustration