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Exhibition Drawn to Purpose

Jessie Willcox Smith (1863–1935). Oh, Don't Hurt Me! Cried Tom. I Only Want to Look at You; You Are So Handsome, 1916. Published in Charles Kingsley The Water Babies, 1916. Charcoal, watercolor, and oil. Gift of the artist, 1935. Cabinet of American Illustration, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (005.01.00)
LC–DIG–ppmsc–05895
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Through the Eyes of a Child

Jessie Willcox Smith employed her keen ability to imagine and evoke the angst and innocent wonder of a child in this breathtaking underwater scene, one of twelve large, lavish drawings that she produced for The Water-Babies, a Victorian story of redemption. The drawings belong among her most admired works and upon her death in 1935, she bequeathed them to the Library. Over her long career, Smith illustrated many classics of children's literature.

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