Douglas Chandor, born in England in 1897, opened a studio in New York in 1926. His subjects included Elizabeth II, Queen of England, Winston Churchill, President Herbert Hoover, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Between 1930 and 1932 he completed eighteen paintings of trustees of The Duke Endowment and other notable figures in the history of Duke. In addition to those in the Gothic Reading Room, there are paintings by Chandor in the Mary Duke Biddle Rare Book Room and the Thomas Room of Lilly Library. In 1934, Chandor married Ina Kuteman (whom he had met at a party hosted by Mary Duke Biddle) and moved to her hometown of Weatherford, Texas. Chandor’s garden became almost as well known as his paintings, and he remained in Weatherford until his death in 1953.
John DaCosta, a native of England, moved to the New York in 1905 to further his career in portraiture and painted a number of notable subjects. He was renowned for his portraits of children, but also painted adults. His work for the Duke family included portraits of James D. Duke, Washington Duke, and Doris Duke.
Cedric Egeli has works hanging in Brandeis University, the Pentagon, and John Hopkins Hospital. His father and his children are portrait painters as well.
John A. Furlow painted several of the portraits commissioned for the 1985 Gallery of Presidents. He also painted the portrait of Nello M. Teer that hangs in the lobby of the Teer Building.
Simmie Knox, a portrait painter for over twenty years, has painted portraits of Justice Thurgood Marshall, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Mayor David Dinkins, as well as the official presidential portrait of Bill Clinton.
Portuguese painter Henrique Medina painted the 1938 portrait of George Garland Allen in the Gothic Reading Room as well as the 1955 portrait of Allen in the Allen Building.
John Howard Sanden began portraiture in the late sixties. Since then he has completed over five hundred portraits, including the portrait of Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans in the Gothic Reading Room.
Nelson Shanks has been painting since the sixties. His commissioned portraits have included Pope John Paul II, Princess Diana, President Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Luciano Pavarotti.
Mary Lyde Hicks Williams' portrait of Braxton Craven came to the Gothic Reading Room in 1985 from Lilly Library to become part of the Gallery of Presidents. Born in Faison, N.C., Williams was, according to the Alumni Register, “one of the South’s foremost portrait painters.” Duke also has portraits of William Howell Pegram and Nathan Hunt Daniel Wilson painted by Williams. Her work has recently been displayed at the North Carolina Museum of History.
C. S. Wiltschek painted several portraits for the university, including those of Benjamin Newton Duke, John Franklin Crowell, and John Carlisle Kilgo in the Gothic Reading Room. He also painted portraits of Duke family members that hang in various locations, including the portraits of Benjamin Newton Duke and Sarah Pearson Duke in Lilly Library.