HOWARD CHANDLER CHRISTY (American 1873-1952)
    Portrait of Frankie Witherspoon
    Oil on canvas
    31.25in. x 24.5in.
    Signed lower right: Howard Chandler Christy
    Provenance: from the artist to Mr. Ambrose Witherspoon, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky; gifted to his wife Frankie Lillard Witherspoon

    Frankie Lillard's family owned Bond Lillard Distillery, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, which later became National Distillery, whose descendants now own Brown Williamson Tobacco & Distilleries, Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Ambrose Witherspoon, was a physician who started Anderson National Bank in Lawrenceburg.

    Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Witherspoon visited New York often where they met and befriended Howard Chandler Christy at the Café des Artists. The present painting was a Christmas gift from Mr. Witherspoon to his wife Frankie.
    In Camphor.

    Christy enlisted to help cover the Spanish-American War. He accompanied the Rough Riders into battle to make illustrations for articles published in Scribner's, Harpers, Century, and Leslie's Weekly. In the process, Christy befriended Col. Theodore Roosevelt and gained a broader interest in patriotic subjects. By the time he returned home in 1898, he was a celebrity. His fame and reputation was secured with The Soldier's Dream published in Scribner's where he portrayed a beautiful girl known as "The Christy Girl," an idea image for an all American woman.

    From that point forward, Christy painted beautiful women for McClure's and other popular magazines. In 1908, he returned to Ohio and in spite of being far away from the mainstream, he still had numerous commissions. In 1915, Christy returned to New York and opened a studio apartment at the Hotel des Artistes and continued illustrating. As war once again appeared imminent, Christy rallied his talents to assist the war effort by painting posters for government war bonds, the Red Cross, Navy, Marines, and in support of civilian volunteer efforts. His famous poster of a young woman dressed in a sailors uniform with the caption, "If I were a man, I would join the Navy," is from this period.During the 1920s, Christy turned from illustration to portrait painting. He painted Benito Mussolini, Crown Prince Umberto of Italy, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, U.S. Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Coolidge, Hoover, Polk, Van Buren and Garfield; humorist Will Rogers, aviator Amelia Earhart, General Douglas MacArthur, and William Randolph Hearst.

    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Framed (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2004
    30th-31st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,376

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $6) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 May 4 American Art - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You have done a terrific job!  I am so pleased.  Thank you for your professionalism, it's been a complete pleasure dealing with you. 
    Merti, W.,
    San Francisco, CA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,098,328