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Exhibition Drawn to Purpose

Jessie Gillespie (Willing) (1888–1972). [Young woman in white dress with fan contemplating goldfish in ornate fishbowl], 1910–1920. Gouache and lead white. Purchase, 2010. Cabinet of American Illustration, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (004.01.00)

Elegant Consumer

Illustrator Jessie Gillespie likely created this drawing for an upmarket advertisement. The dazzling technique she displays in depicting the young woman, details of dress, and setting, characterizes Gillespie's work and demonstrates the high degree of artistry attainable in such art. Even so, the art establishment decried such work as commercial. Talented and too little known, Gillespie published drawings in a variety of magazines and books and worked as an art editor during her career.