Book themed art of Jessie Willcox Smith

Jessie Willcox Smith was born in Philadelphia in 1863. She originally studied to be a kindergarten teacher and worked in this field before accidentally discovering a talent for drawing. She then took formal art courses at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Jessie Willcox Smith had a long, distinguished career. She illustrated Scribners Classic edition of A Child’s Garden of Verses and she also illustrated editions of Little Women, Mother Goose, Noah’s Ark, Heidi and The Night before Christmas. Though she never married, or had children of her own, they became the center of her life and work.

Her work graced the covers of several popular magazines, and she also illustrated countless books for children and produced drawings for calendars. (One of her calendars is available on Amazon for over $3000.00!) Her prolific work was a part of many of our childhoods, so many of the following works of art might look familiar to you.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Just gazing at some of these art works sparks fond memories of my own childhood reading.




You can purchase art prints and/or posters of this artist’s work at

If you want to read more about this legendary illustrator you can order this book from Amazon.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Art with book themes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Book themed art of Jessie Willcox Smith

  1. carhicks says:

    Nothing better than pictures of children reading. Love these.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Book Blogger Test Tag | Naty's Bookshelf

  3. Fascinating. Rather than getting flashbacks to my own childhood, I’m imagining my baby girl reading books as she’s growing up. These are just precious 🙂


  4. Annika Perry says:

    Lynne, these are precious and I’ve so enjoyed looking at her artwork this minions…dreamy quality to them all and a wonderful celebration to the act of reading! 😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barb says:

    Beautiful pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. carhicks says:

    Such beautiful pieces of art with great expressions. I love them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. skyecaitlin says:

    Her artwork is astounding, and this is the kind of art I love. I had several ‘old time’ books as a child, too, therefore, I am wondering now if she had drawn any of the illustrations: My mother had a subscription to Good Housekeeping and other magazines. I am very grateful to view these.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cathy says:

    Beautiful illustrations – thanks for this. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A Child’s Garden of Verses was one of the standbys of my childhood and I remember it fondly. Later, as a lecturer in children’s literature I would often use her work when discussions the history of illustrated books for children. Thank you for taking me down memory lane.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aww, so lovely to see these pictures on a Monday morning!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sarah says:

    Ooo she is a favorite of mine – I have a beautiful edition of ‘Little Women’ with her illustrations.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s