Fame fortune and beautiful models-Howard Chandler Christy had them all.
Christy was the most famous American painter of the Jazz Age a time when an elite brotherhood of New York artists dominated the publishing world. Christy had eclipsed all of them with his "Christy Girl " an idealized woman who redefined beauty influenced fashion and inspired generations of women.
The Magic of Youth is the first book in An Affair with Beauty - The Mystique of Howard Chandler Christy a biographical trilogy of the artist's epic life as told primarily through the eyes of his second wife Nancy a former Cosmopolitan model once considered to be one of the most beautiful women in America. As she reflects on her life Nancy tells of first meeting Christy in 1912 and becoming his top model. She is captivated by his irresistible charm and the glamour of his enchanting world but discovers that things are not always what they seem and even the great Christy has scandalous secrets.
As a freshman at the University of Maryland Jim Head discovered a gilt-edged folio of Charles Dana Gibson's The Social Ladder in the stacks of the campus library one night starting him on a journey to learn more about Gibson and the "Illustrators of Beauty." In turn he became captivated with the talent fame and eventual obscurity of Howard Chandler Christy and began amassing the largest private collection of information related to the artist and his wife Nancy. Over the years to reveal the true untold story he has engaged research assistants uncovered thousands of letters and newspaper articles and traveled throughout the US to interview dozens of people including family members former models and others who knew the artist and his family. Head is a lawyer in Tysons Corner Virginia where he concentrates in estate planning and trust and estate litigation. He lives in Chantilly Virginia with his wife Rita and daughter Christianna.