A Lost Book of Thanksgiving Art
This year, we are doing artist studies in a way that highlights just one artist per school term... a new painting each week. In our home, it looks a lot like this. Anyway, to get my boys excited about art in general, I knew I had to introduce them to a very boyish, exciting artist first, before getting into things like Degas and the ballerinas. Enter N. C. Wyeth. He is an extremely prolific and wonderfully exciting artist for young boys (think pirates, cowboys and knights) and we had a lot of fun appreciating his work. The problem is that there exists very little literature that tells us about the artist himself in a child-friendly way, and no real compendium of his work in the picture book world. Or so I thought. I just discovered N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims which is an out of print (but readily and economically available used) story of Thanksgiving from the perspective of his happy paintings and cheerful characters (Wyeth was a consummate American, even if this meant overlooking some of the darker realities of the Thanksgiving story). We actually have a number of Thanksgiving books and weren't necessarily looking for more-- but this popped onto my radar just last week-- and I had to buy it. Even if we have moved onto Rembrandt (to correlate with a visiting exhibit coming to the Seattle Art Museum soon), the boys were excited to peruse the book and see some more paintings by this artist, larger than the 4 x 6's I've been pinning on our board. The story itself by Robert San Souci is fairly typical. But the art is classic, and the notes about Wyeth in the end are great. I'm surprised to not see it mentioned more often either in conjunction with artist studies, or with Thanksgiving itself.