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Maxfield Parrish

"What they talked about"—"They make me walk behind, 'cos they say I'm too little, and musn't hear..."
1899
pencil, chalk, pen and ink, and ink wash
11 5/8 x 7 1/2 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Olin Dows

This charming young girl, Charlotte, is one of thirty-two illustrations drawn by Maxfield Parrish for English writer Kenneth Grahame's The Golden Age. Parrish depicts the experiences of childhood from the perspective of an adult nostalgic for an ideal world that never was. Although the girl is sad and momentarily isolated, she stands in an idyllic garden, protected by the two sturdy posts that flank her. She seems poised in the portal between childhood and adolescence.