Title:The Pic-Nic OrchestraArtist:James Gillray
Hannah Humphrey Date:April 23, 1802Creation Place:Europe, England, LondonCredit Line:The Minnich Collection
The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, 1966Accession Number:P.17,346
The Picnic Club was an exclusive group of amateur thespians who gathered together for parties to perform dances, concerts, poetry readings, stage plays, and farces. Its members drew lots-note the slip of paper in the pocket of the figure at right-to determine their roles in the evening's entertainments. On this occasion a music recital is slate for this comical group, most of whom were well-known personages-little Lord Valletort plays the cello, Lord Cholmondeley puffs away at the flute, Lady Salisbury (frequently parodied as the goddess Diana) blows into a hunting horn, and Lady Buckinghamshire sings at the piano. She is amusingly noted on the song list to be performing Screech Owl. Their ludicrous appearance suggests the quality of their sound.