During the Twentieth Century the vision of American Thanksgiving was Norman Rockwell’s. His work has become famous throughout the United States and eventually gained international fame. He was a painter and illustrator who made art based on American culture. Much of his most famous work usually involved holidays; the big ones being Christmas and Thanksgiving. A popular Christmas painting is “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas,” which depicts Stockbridge during Christmastime and is used as a model for every Christmas cartoon released.
The main street setting is what people think of when they think of small town Christmas celebrations. You see Christmas cards with this kind of town art all the time. Even Andy Farmer staged a Norman Rockwell town setting in order to sell his farm house in the movie, “Funny Farm.”
Most people in America have seen a Norman Rockwell painting without realizing it. They were popular because they were good. In the past, much entertainment came from reading, not the internet or television. Can you imagine? What a backward time that was. I wanted to use this blog post to share some Thanksgiving paintings created by Rockwell many years ago.
Freedom from want.
This has to be one of Mr. Rockwell’s most famous paintings and is an iconic image of Thanksgiving. It was part of a World War II Freedom series and shows that even in the face of global opposition, Americans were still blessed. He does this by showing that an idealized Thanksgiving. A Thanksgiving blessed by having awesome giant turkeys.
Cousin Reginald Catches the Thanksgiving Turkey
This painting displays “Cousin Reginald” trying to catch a turkey for their Thanksgiving day feast. I’ll never know why they sent such a nerdy child to catch this behemoth turkey. It must be their effort to toughen up soft-looking Reginald, and they didn’t have to worry about child protection agencies back then, so that’s a bonus.
This painting is funny. Apparently, a young pilgrim is stealing a turkey from Native Americans and they’re shooting arrows at her. While this was probably cute back then, painting this today would be a career-ender. Today’s culture is too politically correct to enjoy something like this. Even me, when I look at it, I kind of like it and yet I can’t help but put my hand to my mouth and say, “ooooooooo.”
Mother and Son Peeling Potatoes
This one was painted in the 1940’s and shows a soldier home from the war helping his mother peel potatoes. If the story of peeling potatoes in the military is true, he is probably schooling his mom by skinning those taters like a damn machine and laughing at her while she keeps getting razor cuts and bleeding on the potatoes. Lay off, dude.
The title is self-explanatory. I like that this man, who reminds me of Don Draper, can dress sharp and still handle a dead turkey. Manliness for the win!
Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Got your turkey yet?