03 Nov Doughnuts
They brought the olykoek (“oily cake”) with them when they colonized Manhattan in the 17th century. (Originally a lump of dough tied into a knot—a dough-knot—a clever Yankee introduced the hole in the center of the doughnut 200 years later. It ensured the cake cooked throughout.)
Though around for four centuries, World War I made them popular, when Salvation Army volunteers cooked and served doughnuts by the millions to our soldiers in France. (They weren’t called “doughboys” for nothing.)
Artist Wayne Thiebaud sanctified doughnuts in the 1960s, painting the gooey rings with endless appetite.
Thiebaud inspired legions of artists to follow his lead, including Emily Eveleth, Eric Joyner, Richard Hickam, Don Nice, Robert Jackson, Kevin Hunter, Jason Walker, Peter Anton, Jay Mercado, Derrick Guild, Susan Biebuyck, Mike Geno, Nancy Miller and Jae Yong Kim.
Will we ever tire of doughnut paintings?
Not until we tire of doughnuts themselves.
And that’s the “hole” story.
Above: Doughnuts by Robert Francis James. Oil on canvas. 24 x 18 inches. Chocolate Donut with Sprinkles by Kevin Hunter. Oil on canvas board. 6 x 6 inches. Boudoir by Emily Eveleth. Oil on panel. 26 x 18 inches.
Below: Ocean Beach Doughnut by Jay Mercado. Oil on canvas. 36 x 36 inches.