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Exhibition Drawn to Purpose

Jessie Gillespie (Willing) (1888–1972). Panta=loons, 1914. Published in Evening Star Sunday Magazine, October 25, 1914. Ink, graphite, and watercolor. Purchase, 2010. Cabinet of American Illustration, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (004.00.00)

Fashion Statements

Little is known about the life of Brooklyn-born Jessie Gillespie, the talented illustrator who produced this visual spoof on pantaloons. With the rise of urban life in the 1910s, women began exploring new options in clothing as changing ideals of feminine beauty including slimmer silhouettes, and increasingly sophisticated fashion options took hold. Gillespie's confident depiction of figures wearing pantaloons in vignettes surrounding the central clown hint at her remarkable skill as a silhouette artist.