Bradshaw Crandell

John Bradshaw Crandell
Born (1896-06-14)June 14, 1896
Glens Falls, New York
Died January 25, 1966(1966-01-25) (aged 69)
Madison, Connecticut
Spouse(s) Myra Clarke
Parent(s) Hubert Lee Crandell
Vira Mills

Bradshaw Crandell (June 14, 1896 – January 25, 1966) was an American artist and illustrator. He was known as the "artist of the stars". Among those who posed for Crandell were Carol Lombard, Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Veronica Lake and Lana Turner. In 1921 he began his career with an ad for Lorraine hair nets sold exclusively by F. W. Woolworth. His first cover illustration was the May 28, 1921 issue for the humor magazine Judge. In later life he went from illustrations to oil-on-canvas paintings which included political figures. He also provided poster work for 20th Century Fox. In 2006 he was inducted into the Society of Illustrators hall of fame.[1] In March 2010, an illustration for the 1952 Dutch Treat Club yearbook of Crandell's sold for $17,000.[2]

Early life

John Bradshaw Crandell was born in Glens Falls, New York in 1896, son of Hubert Lee and Vira (Mills) Crandell. Hubert's grandfather, born Peter Crandall, thought "the better way to spell the last name was Crandell instead of the original spelling used by the immigrant ancestor, Elder John Crandall.[3] Crandell attended classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago but did not graduate. Instead he enrolled in Wesleyan University and again did not graduate. His 1918 World War I draft registration card noted he was a student. The twelfth general catalog of the Psi Upsilon fraternity lists him under the Xi Chapter for the year 1919 (from Wesleyan).[4]


Crandall's career took off in 1921 with a contract for the cover of Judge magazine. Although he began his business as John Bradshaw Crandell Studios in 1925, he dropped his first name by 1935. He was known as a "glamour" artist and not necessarily a "pin-up" artist; however, he did have rather risque work, such as the two nude water nymphs and a nude cover for the Dutch Treat Club. In the 1950s, Crandall moved from illustrations to oil and portraits.

Crandall also created art for the Gerlach-Barklow Co., an art calendar factory in Joliet, Illinois.[5]

Some of Crandell's work is on display in Vanderbilt Hall, a mansion hotel in Newport, Rhode Island owned by Peter de Savary. Phyllis Brown often graced the covers of Cosmopolitan and she was a well sought after model. An incident is told that Gerald Ford suggested the future Mrs. Betty Ford meet with two of his favorite friends when he heard of a trip she made to New York. Those friends being Mr. and Mrs. Bradshaw Crandell; however, when Phyllis arrived or as the future first lady put it later "In she slinked, Jerry's model" (Jerry had dated Phyllis) in a low cut very revealing outfit and then had the audacity to steal her escort.[6][7] Both Crandell and Ford were innocent of any wrongdoing, though, as Phyllis admitted it was all her idea.


The following is a partial list of some of Crandell's works and is by no means exhaustive:

Portraits, memorials, and other works





  1. "The Society of Illustrators: Hall of Fame Inductee Bradshaw Crandell". New York City: Society of Illustrators. c. 2006. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  2. The Vintager Retrieved 14 September 2010
  3. John Cortland Crandall, compiler "Elder John Crandall and his descendants", self-published, New Woodstock, New York, 1949.
  4. Psi Upsilon Fraternity (1917). The twelfth general catalogue of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity. The fraternity. p. 484.
  5. "Then & Now: Gerlach-Barklow Co.". Joliet Herald News. 2011-12-04. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  6. James M. Cannon (1998). Time and Chance: Gerald Ford's Appointment With History. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-472-08482-1.
  7. Cannon, James M. (1998). Time and chance: Gerald Ford's appointment with history. University of Michigan Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-472-08482-1.
  8. Wisconsin Historical Museum

External links and further reading

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