|"The Cook" (La cuisinière), Félix Vallotton, 1892. Do cast-iron stoves make you think of Thanksgiving?|
|“Assorted Food on a Stove," Claes Oldenburg|
|Claes Oldenburg with his non-edible sculpture, 1962.|
|“Dinner for Threshers,” Grant Wood|
|Detail of a farmhouse kitchen from “Dinner for Threshers.” 1934.|
|Paul Cézanne, "The Kitchen Table." Fall fruits make me think of the fall holiday.|
“Bottles and Glasses” (Bouteilles et verres), Pablo Picasso, 1912.
We usually drink wine with our turkey dinner. Picasso offered a new look for bottles!
|Carl Larsson, “Christmas Dinner.” 1904.
OK, it’s very like a Thanksgiving buffet for a big family! I love the silver drinking cups.
These artists didn’t have Thanksgiving in mind, but when I think about food and drink, and about families and friends gathering to share a meal at beautifully set tables, or when I think about cooking old favorites in old-time kitchens, I think of images like these. Collectively, I think we Americans share an idealized impression of Thanksgiving with a set menu and a group of close friends and family enjoying the food. And I think many people continue to strive to create such an ideal for their group.
A few years ago, the wonderful blogger Jama, of Jama’s Alphabet Soup, shared a children’s book about the holiday. She featured this particularly idealized image of a long-ago Thanksgiving dinner. (Jill McElmurry, Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story, by Pat Zietlow Miller, 2015)