Petticoats in the Navy
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's narrative poem The Courtship of Miles Standish originally published in 1858 tells the story of the love triangle between John Alden, Miles Standish and Priscilla Mullins during the early days of the Plymouth Colony. Longfellow was a descendant of John Alden. The present work illustrates the scene in the poem where John admires Priscilla spinning:
“Truly, Priscilla,” he said, “when I see you spinning and spinning,
Never idle a moment, but thrifty and thoughtful of others,
Suddenly you are transformed, are visibly changed in a moment;
You are no longer Priscilla, but Bertha the Beautiful Spinner.”
(H.W. Longfellow, The Courtship of Miles Standish, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1902, p. 134)
Please note this work is sold and shipped framed
Signature: Signed and Dated 'Howard Chandler Christy 1902' (lower left)
H.W. Longfellow, The Courtship of Miles Standish, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1902, p. 134, illustrated.
American artist and illustrator Howard Chandler Christy’s vast body of work includes depictions of presidents, war heroes, socialites, and politicians, but he was ultimately best known for his “Christy girl” drawings that depicted the idealized American woman. Christy began his career in professional illustration upon his arrival to New York City, where he studied under William Merritt Chase. At the onset of the Spanish-American War, Christy enlisted himself as a war correspondent for several publications, and received acclaim for his “Men of the Army and Navy” series and a portrait of then-colonel Theodore Roosevelt. With this recognition under his belt, Christy became a well-known illustrator, yet to avoid being type-cast in the military genre, introduced his first “Christy girl”, a prototype that developed into an ongoing series of the ideal modern, beautiful, educated American woman.
American, January 10, 1873 - March 3, 1952, Morgan County, Ohio, based in New York, New York