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Charles Edward Chambers (1883-1941)

The artist was born in Iowa, studied at the Chicago Art Institute and later at the Art Student League in New York with George Bridgman. Chambers` illustrations were marked by subtlety of value and color. He learned early to adapt his method of painting for the best possible reproduction and to insure fidelity of printing and often followed the assignments through to the hands of the platemaker. Among his advertising commissions was an outstanding series of portraits of musicians for Steinway & Sons. He also did a great number of distinctive illustrations for twenty- four- sheet outdoor posters, notably for Chesterfield and Palmolive Soap which set high standards for that field. He illustrated stories in most of the major magazines, for such authors as Pearl Buck, Louis Bromfield, Faith Baldwin, and W. Somerset Maugham; he worked under exclusive contract for Cosmopolitan magazine for many years.

In view of the catastrophic implications of smoking, these enticements take on an edge unimagined at their inception. Notwithstanding, however, they constitute a distinguished ensemble evoking joie de vivre and chic that are dated, to be sure, but also an endeavor toward the upbeat that, in its essence, never grows old.