From my earliest days of coloring school worksheets, cornucopias are the symbol I associate with the harvest season and the Thanksgiving holiday many Americans will be celebrating this week. Also known as the “horn of plenty,” the typical representation features vegetables and fruits spilling forth in abundance. In searching the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, however, I was interested to find references to cornucopias featuring a variety of contents, satirical and otherwise.
My favorite is this beautiful, nineteenth-century watercolor that heralds what nature has to offer beyond the edible category.
And, as a native Californian, I was amused by this human cornucopia (minus the horn). A group of young women exhibited the fashion potential of nature’s bounty on the steps of the U.S. Capitol during an event to publicize California’s tempting produce and the potential benefits of a national highway.
To stretch the metaphor a smidgen more: the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog is a virtual cornucopia of pictures that remind us to be thankful for all the gifts nature affords us. Happy Thanksgiving!
- View more images that reference cornucopias.
- Explore a reference aid that highlights sources for learning about symbols.
- Review previous Thanksgiving blog posts, highlighting the holiday through illustrations from the magazine, Puck; the holiday table as seen in a Farm Security Administration photo; and the variety of foods associated with the holiday in posters and advertisements.