Exhibition: The World War I Illustration of Howard Chandler Christy
Howard Chandler Christy’s illustrations of the ideal American woman were wildly popular among magazine and novel readers at the turn of the twentieth century. For the middle-class woman with an interest in climbing the social ladder, the Christy Girl was a model to imitate. Her appeal was not only in her fashionable hair styles, clothing, and accessories, but also in her natural beauty, confidence, and intelligence.
By World War I, the Christy Girl became a regular on the covers of the Hearst Corporation’s Sunday newspaper supplement, the American Weekly. Advertised as having the greatest circulation in the world with over 50,000,000 readers, this early newspaper magazine section featured scandalous tales of romance, murder, and suspense alongside popular, serial fiction. In 1918, the Christy Girl began to appear on the cover of the American Weekly in support of U.S. troops, imploring young men to join the cause and asking citizens to buy war bonds. In addition to these Sunday newspaper supplements, Howard Chandler Christy illustrated more than forty World War I posters for the U. S. government’s Division of Pictorial Publicity.
Because the American Weekly supplements were distributed on large, fragile newsprint, few copies have survived intact. The covers featured in this exhibition were treated by the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia, PA, in 2010. Conservation was supported by the Eugene P. Pattberg ’26 Preservation Fund.
February 1 - July 31, 2013, Lass Gallery, Daily: 10 am - 10 pm