by Emily Holtrop Director of Learning & Interpretation
Welcome to the Holiday Season! From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, the late autumn and early winter is a time for reflection and celebration. Explore these festive scenes—all works on paper—from the museum’s permanent collection and discover the season’s joys. Due to their light sensitivity, these artworks are not on view. Search for works depicting your favorite holiday in “Explore the Collection” here.
Tina Barney (American, b. 1945), Thanksgiving, 1992, chromogenic development (Ektacolor) print, Museum Purchase with Funds Provided by Thomas R. Schiff, 2002.11
Who is making the pumpkin pie? Who is bringing the green bean casserole? Questions asked every November as families across the United States prepare for their Thanksgiving feast. This photograph, by artist Tina Barney, reflects on a moment many have experienced—a kitchen crowded with family. Are they helping or in the way? As a child, nothing was more exciting than Christmas morning. You run to the tree, all a-glitter with lights and tinsel. Has Santa been there? This early 20th-century photograph by Nancy Ford Cones portrays that moment when it is time to play with your new toys. What was your favorite Christmas toy? A new doll or maybe a Brownie camera?
Chaim Gross (American, 1902–1991), Hanukah (Feast of Rededication), 1968, color lithograph, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Sidney A. Peerless, 1973.443.6
In Hebrew, Hanukkah means Dedication. Lighting a candle each night for the eight days of Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrians and the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in 165 BCE. This color lithograph by Chaim Gross encourages us to ask how we will dedicate ourselves to a new year.
Robert Frederick Blum, (American, 1857–1903), Grove Street, Winter, 19th century, watercolor, Gift of Henrietta Haller, 1905.128
Look out your window; overnight, snow has fallen and blanketed your neighborhood in a fresh layer of white. Winter has come. In this watercolor, Robert Frederick Blum has captured the peace of the season’s first snowfall. How will you spend your winter solstice? With sleds and skis or cocoa and a warm fire?
Nancy Ford Cones (American, 1869–1962), Christmas Morning, circa 1914, printing-out-paper photograph, Gift of Albert Vontz, 1982.194
As a child, nothing was more exciting than Christmas morning. You run to the tree, all a-glitter with lights and tinsel. Has Santa been there? This early 20th-century photograph by Nancy Ford Cones portrays that moment when it is time to play with your new toys. What was your favorite Christmas toy? A new doll or maybe a Brownie camera?
Hale Woodruff, (American, 1900 –1980), African Headdress, designed 1931–1946, printed 1996, linoleum cut, Gift of Auldlyn Higgins Williams and E. T. Williams, Jr. of New York in memory of the Rt. Rev. Herbert Thompson, Jr., Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, and Russelle Cross Thompson, 2016.39.1
Kwanzaa is a celebration of African-American culture based on harvest festival traditions from various parts of West and Southeast Africa. For seven nights, celebrants light a candle representing a principle of Kwanzaa: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. How does this linoleum cut by Hale Woodruff represent the holiday?
Kotozuka Eiichi (Japanese, 1906 –1979), Street Scene in Kyoto on New Year’s Day (Yasaka fukin [Yasaka neighborhood]), late 1940s– early 1950s, color woodcut, The Howard and Caroline Porter Collection (1995 Bequest), 1996.150
A quiet street in Kyoto, perhaps it’s early morning as few people are out and about. Last night’s celebrations, to wrap up the year past and welcome the year to come, are brushed away with the fresh snow. 2023—are you ready for the challenges and opportunities the new day and the new year brings?