Sunday, May 01, 2011

Jennie Cell, Butchering Day (ca. 1955)

It has been quite a while since I last updated this blog, which I started in order to share and keep track of interesting material as I worked on my contribution to the Reaktion Books "Animal" series. I am now in the final stages of working on PIG, which will appear in print this summer after a long gestation. A lot of material from this blog made it into the book, but given the immensity of the human-pig relationship and the small size of the Reaktion "Animal" series books, there's obviously a lot that was left out. I was just at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., where I discovered a lovely piece of folk art that would have been a perfect illustration for the book. This illustration by Jennie Cell (1905-1988) depicts a scene from everyday life that would have been quite familiar in many social environments throughout the world--traditional hog butchering and meat preparation. Her Butchering Day (ca. 1955) is the first of what I am sure will be many images that I wish I had found in time.

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