RARE SEASCAPE pastel in 17 X 31inch frame with some losses to color at corners with 13 3/4inch X 27 1/2inch sight dimension for seascape image. Image is in fine condition and signed in lower right corner.
William Henry Chandler
The chalk used on Chandler pastels was imported from France in a variety of colors. A Chandler employee then blended
these imported colors into a wide variety of bright and pleasing pastel colors, adding a bonding liquid, and then molding
the chalks into easily-usable pastel sticks. The same employee prepped the various sized pastel boards before use,
preparing them with glue and sand so the final pastel colors would adhere better. After the picture was completed by the
artist, it would be sprayed with a fixative to help the chalk to adhere better, and then usually sent to be framed by
Most Chandler pastels come in the form of landscapes. Although supposedly modeled after the rivers and mountains of
New York or New England, in my opinion many seem to be modeled after places much farther away. Most landscapes
feature some form of water such as a lake, stream, river, or waterfalls. Mountains were usually included, often with
another focal point such as a cabin, house, trees, mill, boats, cottages, etc. Flying birds or sailboats were often added in
the distance for visual effect.
Chandlerís most uncommon scenes include such topics as floral still lifes, fruit bowls, and hanging wild game such as
fish or rabbits. We have even seen a still life with a fish bowl on a table. Chandler ocean seascapes and foreign scenes
are also considered rare.
Chandler pastels were sold through art stores, art dealers, gift shops and department stores such as Marshall Fields,
Sears, Higbeeís and The May Company in the United States, and through Simpsonís, Eatonís, and Hudson Bay in Canada.
Chandler prints were sold through the Taber-Prang print catalog and through various calendar and print publishers. Initial
sales contacts were made by Frank Chandler, other sales representatives, and often by Chandler himself.
As his reputation grew, Chandler exhibited his work at the 1900-01 International Exposition in Paris. His name appeared
on the membership list of the prestigious Century Association of New York, among other professional groups. A signed
Chandler pastel even hangs today in the Royal British Columbia Museum Parliament Buildings in Victoria, British Columbia,
Between 1917-1918 Chandler spent a limited time in Canada producing his work. Apparently around that time Canada
had levied a 25% import tax on certain American goods which made it prohibitively expensive to import certain goods
from the U.S. into Canada. Some American businesses attempted to set up a Canadian subsidiary in order to avoid this
import tax (e.g., Wallace Nutting briefly set up a Canadian operation). However, Chandlerís Canadian operation was
short-lived and he returned to New York after only a few months.
TITLES: Most Chandler pastels seem to be untitled. Whereas Chandler prints would have been given a title by the publisher
to assist in sales & marketing, we have seen little evidence that most original Chandler pastels carried any specific title
FRAME AND PASTEL SIZES: Pastel sizes were usually large format. Although we have seen a few in sizes as small as
8x12" or smaller, most were in the 14x18inch, 16x20inch, 20x24inch; size, or larger. And it was quite common to over-mat a
pastel thereby requiring an even larger frame. Quite often Chandler pastels were framed in large ornate frames, which
more often than not are damaged today.
SIGNED VS. UN-SIGNED CHANDLER PASTELS: In our opinion there are a significant number of [Un-Signed] original Chandler
pastels still in circulation. According to Peter Neeley, when Chandler pastels were produced in pairs, usually only one was
signed. And since most [pairs] have been broken up over the last 100 years, that would mean many original Chandlers
are un-signed today. And although Chandler himself most likely signed all of his own art, it would also be our opinion that a
fair number of original Chandler pastels completed by one of his employees may have left the studio un-signed.