The angelic visage of a young girl cutting out paper dolls, a nostalgic image of children saying grace, and a sentimental rendering of a favorite children’s verse are typical of the now-classic illustrations Jessie Willcox Smith produced during the early twentieth century. One of America’s most prolific artists, Jessie Willcox Smith illustrated more than sixty books, and her work adorned the covers and pages of hundreds of magazines. She also created a treasury of posters, prints, calendars, and postcards. The gentle lines, well-executed detail, and sentimental themes of her art are widely acclaimed, and her works are among the most-collected illustrations in the world.
During her career, Smith produced more than seven hundred illustrations. Beginning as an art assistant at the Ladies’ Home Journal, Smith quickly established herself as a major magazine illustrator. Her work appeared in Collier’s, Good Housekeeping, and Woman’s Home Companion, among others. A Smith illustration appeared on every cover of Good Housekeeping from November 1917 until April 1933.
She later turned her attention to children’s books. Among the sixty books she illustrated are such perennial favorites as Heidi, Mother Goose, Little Women, A Child’s Garden of Verses, The Water Babies, and The Children of Dickens.
Arranged in chronological order, each illustration listed in Jessie Willcox Smith: A Bibliography is accompanied by complete bibliographical information, including pagination, collation, issue date, physical description, paper type, and other important notations. Every cover of each first-edition book is reproduced in color. Many internal illustrations also are represented. An index of authors whose books Smith illustrated and a listing of the first appearances of her illustrations complete this art book and reference guide.