As the weather warms up, many of us grab a picnic basket, our loved ones, and find a scenic place to dine outside. It’s an annual tradition. According to Walter Levy, author of The Picnic: A Historypossibly the first culinary history of picnics – there is a rich cultural and social history behind this tradition. And much of that history can be understood by viewing the art that depicts picnicking.

Tove Danovich (@TKDanovich) writes for NPR’s The Salt:


“Picknicking coincides with modern history — the shift from pastoral to urban living, the decline of villages and the rise of modern cities,” [Walter] Levy writes. “When you’re having a picnic,” he tells The Salt, “your intention is to break away from the ordinary.”

In The Salt blog post, Danovich includes numerous images and provides an excellent analysis of each. Well worth reading.


Related Links:

The art that sold California

What a World War 1 poster can teach us about food waste

The ultimate cheese plate: Gastropod on the origins, history and science of cheese.

History of America through its food