Howard Chandler Christy was born in 1873 in Ohio. As a young age, with his mom’s encouragement, he started to do sketches and paintings. In his twentieth, he moved to New York to start his career as a young artist. His mentor named William Merritt Chase had a great influence in Christy’s painting style. His artworks had a realistic manner. He started with landscape and portrait paintings and became famous when he turned twenty-five years old. During the Spanish-American War, he worked in the magazine industry and published “The Soldier Dream”, which made his name well known by the public. “The Soldier Dream” portrayed a young attractive girl known as “The Christy Girl”.
“Christy girl” was “High-bred, aristocratic and dainty though not always silken-skirted; a woman with tremendous self-respect.” “Christy’s Girl” was the artist’s ideal American women at that time. During World War I, he showed his support to the war by design a series of propaganda posters. Some of his famous artworks included “I want you for the navy”, “Gee! I wish I were a man. I’d join the navy”, If you want to fight, join the marine”, “The spirit of America”, etc. After World War I, he painted a lot of portrait for the rich and famous people. Later in his life, he painted “Signing the Constitution” in 1940. This famous artwork still hangs in the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C nowadays.
Howard Chandler Christy had a lot of famous artworks. The piece “Gee! I wish I were a man. I’d join the navy” was the most famous work on his “Christy girl” series. The propaganda poster depicted a youthful woman in her Navy’s uniform smiling to the viewers. “Christy girl” represented independent and modern women. Women who are no longer stay in the kitchen or depended on men. Christy’s ideal women are youthful, charming, and independent. They break through the old fashioned opinion about women and set a new standard of freedom for women in early twenty century. Women became the main character in propaganda posters during that time period. The purpose of the poster also encouraged American to join the military. It also used to support the war effort and generated patriotism from young American. Inspiring the troop to fight and protecting the country.
“Howard C. Christy.” Ohio History Central. Accessed October 23, 2016. http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Howard_C._Christy.
Lloyd, Gordon. “The Constitutional Convention.” Teaching American History. Accessed October 23, 2016. http://teachingamericanhistory.org/convention/christy-about/.