Howard Chandler Christy

Howard Chandler Christy was originally from Ohio. Showed talent from the start. He grew up in a Huck Finn existence with steamships along the Ohio River. He turned to illustration over fine art. Went to Cuba during the Spanish-American war and rode with Teddy Roosevelt. Wrote and drew about it as a journalist, but got tired of drawing soldiers. He started painting the girl the soldier was returning to — young, sweet — the first “Christy” girl. It made him the painter of the world’s most beautiful models almost overnight.
There wasn’t one “Christy girl”, but he did marry one model. That was a tumultuous relationship that was the subject of many headlines for years, until he left her in 1919.
He had alcohol and emotional problems. He returned to Ohio and set up shop (“The Barracks”).
Returned to NYC and lived in Hotel des Artistes. Painted murals for the café. Lived the celebrity life with artist, writers and actors at the Players Club, etc. He and J.M. Flagg were always at the center of attention, doing things like judging the first Miss America contest (1921).
He married another model, Nancy Palmer, who Gibson had sent to him. Her face was everywhere 1916-1912. “Gee, I wish I were a man” poster for the navy. He was a huge patriot — did work for a lot of organizations. His I Want You ad did for naval recruitment what Flagg’s poster did for the army.
In 1921, at the peak of his career, he gave up illustrations to return to his first love, painting portraits. Did all the famous people. Painted till he died in his 80s.