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This Day in Art History: Sept. 6, 1938. The Federal Art Project of the WPA kicked off the Children’s Art Festival in Central Park. The New York Times reported that the festivities featured a performance by the Excelsior Cadets of Harlem drum and bugle band, an accordion solo by Boris Shapiro (aged 12 years old), and eight monkeys meant to publicize a Federal Writer’s Project book titled “Who’s Who at the Zoo.”

Federal Art Project’s Children’s festival in Central Park, 1938 Sept. 6 or 7 / Beckerman, photographer. Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

This Day In Art History: on June 7, 1918, the Penguin Club, a group of anti-establishment artist tricksters led by Walt Kuhn, held their Strawberry Festival. Dress code was casual: attendees were instructed to wear “a Woolworth Straw Hat, or dress to look like a Rube of some sort.”

Flyer for the Penguin Club’s Strawberry Festival, 1918. Walt Kuhn, Kuhn family papers, and Armory Show records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

This Day in Art History: July 9, 1888. Mary Thayer, daughter of painter Abbott Handerson Thayer, makes “Flimboe”, a drink she invented with her brother Gerald. If you trust the culinary instincts of an 11-year-old, you can make Flimboe too. Here is the recipe as written above in Mary’s diary: “water and strawberry juice and sugar, corked up tight in a bottle and kept for about a week, before it is drunk.” If anyone tries this we’d love to hear how it turns out! And see pictures!

Mary Thayer diary, 1888 May 18 through Dec. 24. Abbott Handerson Thayer and Thayer family papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.