F. Earl Christy was an American Artist who lived from 1882-1961. His oeuvre includes many works of art relating to early college football, with a particular emphasis on the Ivy League. His works were shown on pillows, postcards, magazine covers, mugs, pitchers… An example of his work is seen below – an image of a Yale girl on a pillowcase.
Christy practically invented the illustrated image of the “All-American Girl,” at least for the Ivy-League set. His early works glorified the society college girl – always beautifully dressed at football games, golf and tennis tournaments, riding in automobiles or playing instruments. His first College Girl postcard series was published in 1905 by the U.S.S. Postcard Company. When the college girl fad had run its course, he went on to paint more mature men and women, movie stars and political figures, still romantically idealized. His work can be found on the covers of vintage fan magazines like Photoplay, Modern Screen, Pictorial Review, Popular Songs, Radio Stars, Screen Album, Screen Romances, and Shadowplay – not to mention sheet music, fans, blotters, book illustrations, boxes, jigsaw puzzles, posters, serving trays, bookmarks, advertising mailers, catalogs, programs, china, and textiles [Reprinted from Vintage Image Craft].
Later in his career Christy would go on to specialize in glamorous women during the Art Deco period and did many illustrations of women in suggestive and alluring positions.
F. Earl Christy was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1882. The “F” is believed to stand for “Frederic”. At 17, he painted originals for the Boardwalk Atlantic City Picture company, with many of his early works published by the J. Hoover and Sons Calendar Company of Philadelphia. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts from 1905-1907. A University of Pennsylvania post card that mimics a playing card is seen below: