Cake It Easy: Celebrating Wayne Thiebaud’s 100th Birthday

We knead your help celebrating this iconic American artist’s centenary. Carb along with us!

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Wayne Thiebaud, Neapolitan Meringue, 1986/1999, pastel over trial proof lithograph on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Warren Unna, Terry and Margaret Stent, and the Thiebaud Family, and museum purchase in honor of Nan Tucker McEvoy, 1999.80, © 1999, Paul Le Baron Thiebaud

How do you celebrate the centenary of an artist known for his images of cake, pies, sandwiches, and other treats? Bake!

Iconic American artist Wayne Thiebaud turns 100 on November 15, 2020, and in celebration we challenge you to make and share a food item in tribute to his long career. Thiebaud, who was born in Mesa, Arizona in 1920, started his career as a commercial artist. He is perhaps best known for his arrangements of cakes and other desserts and meals, often lined up in rows or in geometric groupings.

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Wayne Thiebaud, Cake Window, from the book Delights, 1964/published 1965, etching on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. Frank Lobdell, San Francisco, 1992.43.13, (c) 1965, Wayne Thiebaud

The Brits may have their Bake Off, but we're starting a new tradition: The Great American [Art] Cake Off. So put on your apron, throw open your pantry, pre-heat your oven, and get ready to create your homage to the creator of some of the tastiest artworks.

We admit, we find ourselves focused on cakes, but if you're not feeling up for a multi-tiered triple-chocolate torte, may we invite you to try your hand at a pie, or perhaps some brownies. Maybe a few scoops of ice cream or a selection of store-bought sandwiches are more your speed? You name it, if it's a treat, Thiebaud has rendered it in paint, ink, or charcoal. The best part? After you snap a photo or two and send it our way, your treat is all yours to enjoy or share.

Please share your photos and tag @americanart!