Pictured above: Lana Turner by John Bradshaw Crandell
John Bradshaw Crandell (June 14, 1896 – January 25, 1966) was an American artist and illustrator. He was particularly known as the “artist of the stars”. Veronica Lake, Carol Lombard, Lana Turner, Bette Davis, and Judy Garland are among some of the legendary actresses that have posed for him.
Crandell’s career was launched in 1921 following his production of artwork for Lorraine hair nets sold exclusively by F. W. Woolworth. His first featured cover illustration appeared in the May 28, 1921, issue for the magazine “Judge”. Throughout the years, Crandell’s work was also featured in “College Humor”, “American”, “Ladies’ Home Journal”, “Motion Picture”, “Saturday Evening Post”, “Collier’s”, “Redbook” and “Cosmopolitan”.
In 1925, Crandell opened a studio at 405 Lexington Avenue, known as John Bradshaw Crandell Studios. By 1935, Crandell dropped his first name and also relocated his studio to a penthouse at 400 East 52nd Street.
In 1939, he produced artwork for the Salvation Army fund drive, along with illustrations for General Motors Pontiac Division. Throughout WWII, Crandell produced a variety of war effort illustration art.
During the 1950s, Crandell began working with his preferred medium, oil-on-canvas paintings, which featured luminaries and political figures of the era. His magnificent art work could also be found in advertisements for Old Gold, Palmolive, and others. He further created art for an art calendar factory, the Gerlach-Barklow Co., in Joliet, Illinois and provided poster work for 20th Century Fox.
During 1954, Crandell moved to a permanent residence in Madison, Connecticut, however, he maintained his East 52nd Street studio in New York for eleven years afterward.
On January 25, 1966, Bradshaw Crandell died from cancer at the age of 69. Today, some of Crandell’s work may be found displayed in Newport, Rhode Island at the Vanderbilt Hall mansion hotel.
In 2006, Crandell was inducted into the Society of Illustrators hall of fame.
John Bradshaw Crandell was born in Glens Falls, New York in 1896, son of Hubert Lee and Vira (Mills) Crandell. He attended classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago without graduating. Consequently, Crandell enrolled in Wesleyan University as World War I unfolded. Crandell left school and enlisted in the Navy serving as a machinists 1st mate. Following a medical discharge, Crandell returned to New York and worked in the canteen at the Bryant Park YMCA as a cashier. During this time, Crandell married Myra Clarke.
Following is a list featuring some of Crandall’s works:
1921- F. W. Woolworth’s ad for Lorraine hair nets
1921-1937: Chesterfield ad
1921-Judge (magazine) cover
1925-6-The Designer cover
1926-8, 1934-5, 1937-Saturday Evening Post cover
1926, 1928-Modern Priscilla cover
1927, 1931-2-Physical Culture cover
1928-Mazola Oil ad
1929-Cudahy’s Puritan Bacon ad
1929-The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company ad
1930-College Humor cover
1930-Old Gold cigarette ad
1931-Schrafft’s candy ad
1931 to 1933-Farmer’s Wife cover
1933-The American Magazine cover
1933-Palmolive soap ad
1935-1940, 1944-6-Cosmopolitan cover
1938-Coca-Cola serving tray
1939-Lucky Strike calendar ad
1940-Pabst beer ad
194*-American Red Cross poster ad
1941-1944: John Player & Sons Cigarette ads
1943-Pontiac ads (honoring all arms and services of the fighting forces)
1943-Women’s Army Corps recruiting poster
1944-Tangee face powder ad
1948- Edgeworth pipe tobacco ad
1949- Lord Calvert whiskey ad
Dates unknown-Redbook only editorial or story illustration per Crandell himself
Following are some of the stars who posed for Crandell:
Olivia De Havilland
Rosemary Lane, one of the Lane Sisters