Men Kneeling to woman in flounced dress. Illustration from Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott, one of the most popular books in American literature and an extremely important one in Smith's career.
In 1868, Louisa May Alcott wrote a classic story about the lives of four sisters growing up in Concord, Massachusetts. The story was based loosely on the life of the author, but when the book was reprinted in the 1900’s, the publisher chose Jessie Wilcox Smith as the most suitable artist to bring this story to life.
Early in her career, Smith lived and worked with Violet Oakley and Elizabeth Shippen Green, two prominent Philadelphia illustrators, who developed images of childhood and young adulthood that were enjoyed and cherished by millions. This illustration from Little Women depicts a romantic moment in the life of one of Alcott’s sisters.