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Images of Thanksgiving Over Time - An Artistic and Historical View of Thanksgiving in Art and Photos

Updated on November 24, 2014
Titled, "The Thanksgiving Dinner."
Titled, "The Thanksgiving Dinner." | Source

Thanksgiving in Images - Interesting Art from the Past

This hub is a gallery of images I found having to do with Thanksgiving. Many are artist's depictions of what they think the first Thanksgiving may have looked like. Others, are covering Thanksgiving at a period of time in the past. They are all interesting to me, from the paintings to the sketches to the etchings.

I think its good to remember our history, and to enjoy Thanksgiving not just now, but see how others did in the past as well. All of these images have been checked to make sure they are in the public domain. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving, however you celebrate it!

The top image is from an unknown artist, but is is so lovely it ought to be shared. Here is the little bit of information I have on it. It says, "Recto, The Thanksgiving Dinner. Edwd. Ridley and Sons." It mentions also, silks, velvets, fancy goods, gent's furnishing goods, laces, embroideries, dress trimmings, ruchings, fringes. Corner of Grand and Allen Streets in New York. So, even if an advertisement of sorts, its just beautiful I think. (American Broadsides and Ephemera, Volume 1).


The above photo, is called "The Thanksgiving Service on the Field of Agincourt." The artist is Edmund Bleigh Leighton.

He signs his woodcuts as EBL, and I think this is just a wonderful work of art. Its one of those pieces that makes me want to go and learn more about what this is all about. I wonder sometimes, if that isn't the obvious goal of some of the artists we come across over the centuries. Its their way of expressing something beautiful or important to them, among other things.


Above: Thanksgiving in Camp

This is a sketch by Alfred R. Waud, (Alfred Rudolph). He was an artist that lived from 1828-1891. Its interesting, the view into a camp during Civil Wartime at Thanksgiving. Evidently it is a cropped image as well, but what a treasure to see. Can you imagine those men? I imagine many of our soldiers now can imagine at least a little bit when they are gone from home during war times.

Thanksgiving Day - The Dance
Thanksgiving Day - The Dance | Source

Above : What a neat and happy piece of art this is! It is called, "Thanksgiving Day - The Dance." The artist is Homer, Winslow. He lived 1836-1910. The date of issue on this piece is 11-27-1858. Its so impressive, these wood engravings. I think they are really quite spectacular, and shows such great talent on the part of the artist. This piece was published in Harper's Weekly, Volume 2, on November 27, 1858. It is located on page 761. There is a Winslow Homer collection, in the Boston Public Library, in the Print Department. He would be an artist to look into more, I love the feel of this piece.

"The First Thanksgiving."
"The First Thanksgiving." | Source

The above work is entitled, "The First Thanksgiving." The artist is Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, an American painter, who lived from 1863 - 1930 and lived in Philadelphia. It was an oil on canvas.

While a very beautiful piece, this is more of a idealized, or romanticized version of what we know to be true regarding the First Thanksgiving. So while not historically accurate, still beautiful and interesting. Even the clothing by the Pilgrim's is incorrect, for example. The Indians would not have been sitting on the ground, evidently. The Wampanoag Indians also didn't wear feathered war bonnets.

President Ford Pardoning the Turkey


President Ford, above, in the Rose Garden on November 20, 1975. He is one lucky turkey!

Below, President Ronald Reagan is pardoning the annual turkey, in November 1983. I think these are so fun, its just so lighthearted and they seem relaxed and happy.


** I hope to find more art like this over time, and add it to this small collection. Still, I wanted to share what I did find so far. Thanksgiving is such a huge part of the United State's history. The celebration of it has gone on for quite some time, and much has been written about it and so much art invested into such a special day. All dedicated to giving thanks for our lives and what we have. Its all a gift. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis in Neffsville, Pennsylvania

A classic picture of a family gathered around the table to pray and thank God for their blessings and food.
A classic picture of a family gathered around the table to pray and thank God for their blessings and food. | Source

A Hymn of Thanksgiving sheet music cover

A wonderful classic song, published in 1899.
A wonderful classic song, published in 1899.

Home To Thanksgiving, published by Currier and Ives.

Lithograph, Home To Thanksgiving, published by Currier and Ives. - 1867
Lithograph, Home To Thanksgiving, published by Currier and Ives. - 1867 | Source

© 2011 Paula


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thanks so much Peggy! I will try to find more for other occasions as I love these kinds of images. To me, its neat to see how people have made certain holidays and events into cards. I hear you, in regards to making sure they are no copyrights on the images. I appreciate your comment and votes, thank you so much. I have been enjoying your hubs that I have had time to read. :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I love this series that you started. I read your Christmas one first. Hope that you find more for each special occasion. Just love these old cards. I have used some old postcards in some of my hubs but always check first to see if there are copyrights. Voted up and beautiful.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      SanneL, thank you. So glad you enjoyed looking at the images. I also wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving day! :)

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      A very interesting read on this very important day in the United States.

      I enjoyed looking at the lovely images of the different Thanksgiving day celebrations.

      Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us.

      I wish you and yours, as well as the rest of United States, a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you Mary, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well! :)

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for giving us this great Hub on this Thanksgiving Day! I hope your day is wonderful for you and yours.