“Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go”…. Which is what at least some of us are doing this Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to sing the song to make your journey fly by!
Anna Mary Robertson Moses (Grandma Moses), Catching the Turkey, 1941
Leading up to Thanksgiving many of us are menu planning and getting ready for guests. We were curious how artists might depict the holiday.
Doris Lee, Thanksgiving, 1942
Thanksgiving is often a group effort. This American lithograph was printed done during World War II when shortages and rationing presented challenges. Nevertheless, there is a happy spirit in this family. The boy in the doorway looks eagerly at the turkey in the oven, and woman basting it has a smile on her face. Sunlight streams through the window highlighting the woman rolling out dough for the pie crust. Would we be defrosting a pie crust from the supermarket? A basket of vegetables that are probably straight from the garden (maybe a Victory garden?) and fill the wicker basket. The best china is coming out of the cupboard, bound for the table in the background. Even the animals are happy. The dog sleeps peacefully under the warm stove, and the cat gets a treat from the little helper. This is the kind of ideal day that we all envision
Do any of these artworks represent what your Thanksgiving will be like?
Spending time in the kitchen?
Laurie Simmons, Purple Woman/ Kitchen/ Second View, 1978
Wayne Thiebaud, Pies, Pies, Pies, 1961
These pies really look yummy. Can you figure out what kinds of pies this hostess made for guests?
Cooking a turkey?
This is a nice big turkey, isn’t it? We think that it would feed lots of people!
Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want, 1943
Using in the dining room with your best china? This is a really fancy house, isn’t it?
Lansdowne House Dining Room, 1766-69
Arranging centerpieces? There are so many beautiful colors to include!
Werner Drewes, Thanksgiving Still (No. 246), undated
Washing dishes? Who washes the Thanksgiving dishes at your house?
Liza Lou, detail from Kitchen, 1991-95
Watching (or playing) football?
Garry Winogrand, Dallas, Texas, 1974
Watching a Thanksgiving Day parade? Mary’s band marched in the Macy’s Parade when she was a little girl!
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Giving thanks for something special in your life?
Richard Miller, Thanksgiving Table, 1941
Winslow Homer, Thanksgiving Day in the Army – After Dinner: The Wishbone, from Harper’s Weekly, December 3, 1864
May you get the end of the wishbone that makes all your dreams come true!
Wherever you spend Thanksgiving, we hope it’s a happy one. We give thanks to you, our readers, for bringing arts integrated ideas into your life.
Susan and Mary