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...
Faith Ringgold’s Church Picnic  (1988)

Faith Ringgold’s Church Picnic (1988)

Faith Ringgold’s Church Picnic Story Quilt (1988)  is a painted quilt that portrays the Freedom Baptist Church Sunday School picnic.  Picnic cloths are spread out on the grass and families sit in separate groups eating the foods they have totted along. The children...
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...
Nikolai Astrup’s  Midsummer Picnics

Nikolai Astrup’s Midsummer Picnics

Astrum’s recurring theme is the picnic bonfires lighted on Midsummer’s Eve, June 23, marking the summer solstice. Though it’s a pagan holdover, Christians celebrate the evening honoring St. John the Baptist’s birthday on June 24.  In deeply...
Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery recipe for Lobster Salad (1845)

Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery recipe for Lobster Salad (1845)

Eliza Acton’s recipe for lobster salad is contemporary with Gilbert & Sullivan’s Thespis. Lobster Salad. First, prepare a sauce with the coral of a hen lobster, pounded and rubbed through a sieve, and very gradually mixed with a good mayonnaise,...