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Howard Chandler Christy (American, 1872-1952)


Birth Place: Morgan county (Ohio, United States)

Howard Chandler Christy, born in 1873 in Ohio, showed a love for art at age three. Encouraged by his parents, he began with sketching and later turned to watercolors. In 1890, he left for New York to pursue his passion. He found a mentor in famous painter William Merritt Chase.

He admired illustrators Howard Pyle and Edwin Austin Abbey and became a magazine illustrator. His creations included likenesses of women who would become known as "Christy Girls," similar to the famous "Gibson Girls."

Married twice, his first daughter Natalie was born during his marriage to model Maybelle Thompson. His second marriage was in 1919 to Nancy Palmer. He retired from magazine illustrating in 1921. His partner until his death at age 80 was Elise Ford. They had a daughter named Holly, born in 1939.

He took up professional portraiture and painted portraits for the elite including President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, Mr. and Mrs. Hearst and Herbert Hoover. Renowned paintings include "We The People" in 1937, "The Signing Of The Constitution" in 1940, and "The Signing Of The United Nations Charter" in 1946-1947. He had several works in progress when he passed away at his artist studio in 1952 at age 80. They were a portrait of Douglas Mac Arthur and a Gettysburg painting.

Among Christy's honors were an honorary membership in the U.S. Naval Academy, medals from Paris and Chicago Expos and decorations from the N.Y Police Force and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Christy's magazine illustrations are collector's items.

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