Howard Chandler Christy (1873–1952)
Oil on canvas, 1933
Between 1928 and 1937, few Americans were pictured as frequently as Earhart. While photographers created the majority of images, she also posed for several painters.
This likeness was painted by Howard Chandler Christy. A student of William Merritt Chase’s at New York’s Art Students League, Christy emerged as a highly successful illustrator and portraitist during this period. Although he portrays Earhart sitting on a rock, Christy has situated the famous aviator amid blue skies and clouds high above the ocean.
On the painting’s back is a poem written by Ben Riddle to mark the occasion: “I have painted you/ Against the reaches of the sky./ We sail together, you and I./ Great dreams come true/ Beyond the head winds of fate. . . . So I have painted you/ In your rich brief moment to find/ A loving niche of all of human kind.”