Skip to Content
Today Open today 11–8

Thanksgiving

A chaotic but happy kitchen scene: A light-skinned woman in a pink dress at left bends to take a turkey out of the oven, while another at right forms a pie near a small girl playing with a kitten. Behind them, a woman selects dishware as yet another carries a basket of ingredients. A fifth woman in the back puts on a fancy hat and coat near a pair of babies reaching out from their twin high chair.

Image actions

  • A chaotic but happy kitchen scene: A light-skinned woman in a pink dress at left bends to take a turkey out of the oven, while another at right forms a pie near a small girl playing with a kitten. Behind them, a woman selects dishware as yet another carries a basket of ingredients. A fifth woman in the back puts on a fancy hat and coat near a pair of babies reaching out from their twin high chair.

Date:

c. 1935

Artist:

Doris Lee (American, 1905–1983)

About this artwork

Painted in a deliberately cartoon-like manner, this bustling scene of women preparing a Thanksgiving feast debuted in the midst of the Great Depression, a time when the themes of a national holiday, rural customs, and family life appealed to struggling Americans. It became the object of national headlines, however, when it was first exhibited at the Art Institute in 1935 and won the prestigious Logan Purchase Prize. Josephine Logan, the donor of the prize, condemned the work’s broad, exaggerated style as too modern, and founded the conservative “Sanity in Art” movement in response. This controversy only brought Illinois-born artist Doris Lee fame, and Thanksgiving has been recognized as one of the most popular views of this American ritual since that time.

Status

On View, Gallery 161

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artist

Doris Lee

Title

Thanksgiving

Place

United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1935

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed recto, lower right, on white and red checkered floor, in white pigment: "Doris Lee".

Dimensions

71.3 × 101.8 cm (28 1/8 × 40 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund

Reference Number

1935.313

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share