OPEN JULY 1, 2021
“The First Thanksgiving-1621”
By Falmouth Artist Karen Rinaldo
The Wicks House Gallery
“The First Thanksgiving-1621” by Karen Rinaldo is the inaugural exhibit in the new gallery at the Dr. Francis Wicks House. Since the painting will be returned to its owner in Wisconsin later this year, this is a rare opportunity to view the work. Visitors can also watch a short video of the creative process.
The painting, which is currently on loan to the Museums on the Green to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim’s landing in the New World, is the first historically accurate painting of the famous gathering.
ABOUT THE PAINTING
The National Association of Christian Congregational Churches commissioned “The First Thanksgiving-1621” as “a Gift to the Nation.” The painting depicts the Mayflower survivors and the Wampanoags who joined them in a communal recognition of their friendship.
Ms. Rinaldo researched historical records and first-person accounts of the Pilgrims who were present. Except for the 91 braves who are unnamed in the historical account, every figure portrayed is identified by name in an addendum provided for authentication. The painting includes Governor William Bradford, Wampanoag leader Massasoit, the English-speaking Squanto, Priscilla Mullins (later Alden) holding Oceanus Hopkins, and Peregrine White, the first English child born in America. The scene depicts the mutual respect between the Native Americans and the recent arrivals at the time of the first Thanksgiving.
The painting was displayed at Pilgrim Hall Museum and Plimoth Plantation from 1995-2017. It has appeared in numerous textbooks nationally and internationally. It is currently on loan to the Museums on the Green to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim’s landing in the New World.