12 Magical Turkey-Themed Artworks for Thanksgiving

Giving thanks to artists everywhere.

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Norman Rockwell's Freedom from Want (1943).
Courtesy of Norman Rockwell Museum.
John Currin's Thanksgiving (2003).
Courtesy of the Tate.
Richard Tuttle's Turkey (in 2 parts) (1970).
Courtesy of artnet.
Stanley Spencer's Turkeys (1925).
Courtesy of the Tate.
Claude Monet's Les dindons (1877).
Courtesy of Musée d'Orsay.
Circle of Melchior de Hondecoeter, A cockerel, hens and pigeons in a landscape with peacocks, a turkey and other birds before a distant fountain.
Courtesy of artnet.
Doris Lee's Thanksgiving Dinner (1935).
Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago.
John James Audubon's Wild Turkey, Male.
Photo via: Audubon Galleries.
Chaïm Soutine, Hanging Turkey (ca. 1925).
Courtesy of The Athenaeum.

Thanksgiving is, at best, the July Fourth of winter.

This Turkey day, carve out some time from your gobbling to have a think about the many depictions of this storied fowl. In this slideshow you shall find an array of magical turkey artworks sure to leave you salivating—from de Goya to Lichtenstein. Though all of the works shown are from the past two centuries, the practice of still-life depiction of food dates back at least to the Renaissance, when artists began to look at food as the singular subject of a work. Our harvest shows turkeys in an array of states—dead, alive and running, and full of color, from pre–Harry and David spiced brine to post-epic feast.

Thanksgiving honors the first feast of the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians in 1621. The three day long feast featured deer and local fowl, likely including turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving from the team at artnet News.

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