Joseph Goodhue Chandler was born on 8 October 1813 in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He trained first as a cabinetmaker; later, at some time between the ages of 14 and 19, he traveled to Albany and studied painting with William Collins. His earliest known portraits date from 1837 and are mainly of family members. Following his father's death, he bought his brother's share of the family farm and supplemented his income by land management.
Chandler married Lucretia Ann Waite (1820-1868), an established painter from Hubbardston, Massachusetts, in 1840. A descendant reported that Lucretia "finished up" her husband's paintings, and the two artists probably collaborated on several portraits. Soon after his marriage, Chandler began his career as an itinerant painter, traveling principally in northwestern Massachusetts until he established a studio in Boston in 1852. In 1860 the Chandlers returned to Hubbardston, where they spent the rest of their lives. Chandler died in 1884. [This is an edited version of the artist's biography published in the NGA Systematic Catalogue]
Keefe, John W. "Joseph Goodhue Chandler (1813-1884), Itinerant Painter of the Connecticut River Valley." Antiques 102 (November 1972): 848-854.
Chotner, Deborah, with contributions by Julie Aronson, Sarah D. Cash, and Laurie Weitzenkorn. American Naive Paintings. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 59.