Osbert Sitwell’s “Picnics and Pavilions” (1944)

Osbert Sitwell’s “Picnics and Pavilions” (1944)

Sitwell considers picnic an ugly word. He starts the essay “Sing High! Sing Low!” without equivocating. Then, he finds picnics excellent opportunities to act as the noble savage in a controlled natural setting, a continuation of the perpetual picnic of Adam and Eve....
Robert Norton’s Memories of Edith Wharton Picnicking

Robert Norton’s Memories of Edith Wharton Picnicking

Robert Norton recalls Edith Wharton “had a passion for picnics, a passion not shared by quite all of her guests, some of whom, unskilled at balancing a loaded plate on their knees, would have secretly preferred a hot square meal served on solid mahogany: but they...
Faith Ringgold’s Tar Beach (1991)

Faith Ringgold’s Tar Beach (1991)

Ringgold’s tapestry Tar Beach (1988) and her children’s story Tar Beach (1991) portray classic rooftop entertainment. When Cassie Lightfoot flies over the rooftops of Harlem, the lights of the George Washington Bridge glow against the black sky like...
Sevso and Casena Hunting Plates (Late 4th Century)

Sevso and Casena Hunting Plates (Late 4th Century)

The Sevso Plate * (27.8 inches in diameter) may also reference a hunting feast describe by the roman writer Philostratus. But the iconography is Christian. The Chi-Rho situated at the apex of the legend on the plate’s circumference is a symbol for Jesus Christ...
Philostratus’s Imagines (250-300 CE)

Philostratus’s Imagines (250-300 CE)

Hunting feasts have a long history. Among the Romans, one such by Philostratus Elder uses the rhetorical device of Ekphrasis, a verbal description of a visual representation, to illustrate a painting he observed in Naples. Ironically, none survive, if they existed at...
Henry Angelo’s Reminiscences (1830)

Henry Angelo’s Reminiscences (1830)

Angelo, London’s most renowned fencing master, was an original Pic Nic. His in Reminiscences of Henry Angelo (1830) is among the few first-hand depictions of the society. Angel explains that “the plan [for the Pic Nics] was derived from a friendly custom...
Dubose Heyward’ Porgy & Bess (1926)

Dubose Heyward’ Porgy & Bess (1926)

It’s a glorious September day when the residents of Catfish Row intend to enjoy a day on Kittwar Island in Charleston harbor. “It was the day set for the grand parade and picnic of “The Sons and Daughters of Repent Ye Saith the Lord,” and, with...
Jim Crace’s Being Dead (1999)

Jim Crace’s Being Dead (1999)

Crace’s combination of an awful  picnic and murder is not your average picnic. But Being Dead’s readers often find it so appealing they search for Baritone Bay, the place where the central characters are murdered.  There is no telling where they search...