Saturday in the Museum with Doris

Image: Thanksgiving by Doris Lee (c. 1935).  Oil on Canvas.

For this weekend’s highlighting of something from the world of art, we turn to the theme of Thanksgiving.  The obvious choice would have been Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting of the meal from the Four Freedoms series.  But thanks to the internet, we found another fitting painting with an interesting backstory.

The painting is by Doris Lee from 1935.  It is in the holdings of the Art Institute of Chicago.  There is also a lithograph from 1942 in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The Art Institute website describes the backstory:

“Doris Lee’s bustling scene of women preparing a Thanksgiving feast became the object of national headlines when it was first exhibited at the Art Institute in 1935 and won the prestigious Logan Purchase Prize. The themes of Thanksgiving, rural customs, and family life, which Lee painted in a deliberately folksy manner, would have had great appeal to a country still in the midst of the Depression. Yet Josephine Logan, the donor of the prize, condemned the work’s broad, exaggerated style, founding the conservative “Sanity in Art” movement in response. This controversy only brought Lee fame, and Thanksgiving has been recognized as one of the most popular nostalgic views of this American ritual since that time.”

Wishing all our readers a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We would remind you that if you are looking for a bottle or two of wine for the big meal, be sure to check out one of the shops in our Neighborhood Wine Shop Guide for D.C.

If you are thinking ahead to next Saturday, when you are done with leftovers, our list of recommended restaurants can help you find a place to go.  There are more than 200 places in the District, that you can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and/or rating!  In both MAP or LIST format.

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