" Pease-Porridge Hot, Pease-Porridge Cold"   Lot no. 3947

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By Jessie Willcox Smith (American- 1863-1935)

1912 (Estimated)
18.00" x 25.00"
Mixed Media on Paperboard
Signed Lower Right



This mixed media art by Jesssie Willcox Smith, entitled “Pease-Porridge Hot, Pease-Porridge Cold,” was executed in 1912, and first appeared in print in Good Housekeeping Magazine, December, 1912, as a black and white double-page tinted internal illustration [“Jessie Willcox Smith, A Bibliography,” by Edward Nudelman, Pelican, 1989, p.146]. Two years later, the image appeared for the first time in book form as one of five black & white full-page plates in the renowned "Jessie Willcox Smith Mother Goose,” NY, 1914, Dodd, Mead and Company, which featured five black and white plates, and 12 color plates [Nudelman, A39]. Appearing for the first time in color, this image was printed along with 17 other illustrations in a series entitled “Mother Goose Pictures,” issued in portfolio, by the Cosmopolitan Print Department of New York, in 1919 [Nudelman, p.170].

(Edward Nudelman)

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See all original artwork by Jessie Willcox Smith


            Jessie Wilcox Smith never married, but throughout her long career, specialized in drawing and painting mothers, babies and children. Her training was acquired at the School of Design for Women, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with Thomas Eakins, and at the Drexel Institute under Howard Pyle.

            She had begun as a kindergarten teacher but turned to an art career with the stimulus and assistance of Howard Pyle. Some of her best-known illustrations were for books: Little Women, Heidi, A book of Old Stories and Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses. She also painted a great many illustrations for magazines such as Collier's and McClure's, and did nearly 200 covers for Good Housekeeping. For several years, she shared house and studio with two other Pyle students, Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley. Working in close proximity they also strongly influenced eachother's work as well as that of several other Pyle - school women. This relationship is told in The Red Rose Girls by Alice Carter. Smith painted and exhibited widely, revieving many awards, a Silver Metal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. She was also commissioned to paint many portraits of children.

            Two other biographies, Jessie Wilcox Smith by S. Michael Schnessel, and Jessie Wilcox Smith American Illustrator by Edward D. Nudelman (who also contributed A bibliography) have been published.