Chandler, Clyde Giltner (1879–1961)

By: Diana Church

Type: Biography

Published: December 1, 1994

Clyde Giltner Chandler, sculptor, was born in June 1879 in Evansville, Indiana, the daughter of William W. and Flora A. Giltner Chandler. The family moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1883. Clyde studied with Robert J. Onderdonk in Dallas and San Antonio and became the protégé of the Austin sculptor Elisabet Ney. From 1896 to 1898 she studied at the Massachusetts Normal Art School in Boston. Beginning in 1898 she taught "modeling and freehand drawing" at St. Mary's College in Dallas; from 1900 to 1902 she taught studio classes with Vivian Aunspaugh.

In September 1903, with a scholarship from the Dallas Art Association, Clyde Chandler moved to Chicago, where she studied for two years with Lorado Taft at the Art Institute. When he went to Florence, Italy, she accompanied him as his assistant. In 1906 she returned to Chicago, where she completed sculpture commissions for Bay City, Michigan, and South Bend, Indiana. In 1907 she received a second-place award at the Chicago Artists' Exposition, Art Institute of Chicago; she also exhibited at the Art Institute in 1908 and 1909. Between 1907 and 1912 she apparently maintained two residences, in Chicago and in Dallas, where she earned her living in a variety of temporary jobs-dressmaking, retail clothing sales, office clerk.

In 1912 the State Fair of Texas contracted with Chandler to do a sculpture as a memorial to Sydney Smith for his twenty-six years of service to the fair. In October 1916 Gulf Clouds, which she considered to be her best work, was installed at Fair Park. The bronze and grey granite sculpture, also called the Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain, is of a mother and three daughters representative of features in Texas geography. The seated mother represents Texas prairies; the left daughter represents the mountains; the Gulf, the third figure, adorned with draperies undulating like waves, lies at the feet of the other figures; a winged "Gulf Cloud" rises from the Gulf and symbolizes rain. The work, twelve feet high, thirty-five feet in diameter, and five tons in weight, was done in Chicago between 1912 and 1916. After Gulf Clouds was dedicated the sculptor lived in Chicago until 1936, when she moved to Santa Monica, California, and started a studio. She died on July 11, 1961, in Santa Monica.

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Jerry Bywaters, Seventy-Five Years of Art in Dallas: The History of the Dallas Art Association and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, 1978). Diana Church, Guide to Dallas Artists, 1890–1917 (Plano, Texas, 1987). Frances Battaile Fisk, A History of Texas Artists and Sculptors (Abilene, Texas, 1928; facsimile rpt., Austin: Morrison, 1986). Esse Forrester-O'Brien, Art and Artists of Texas (Dallas: Tardy, 1935).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Diana Church, “Chandler, Clyde Giltner,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022,

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December 1, 1994

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