Rewriting the Thanksgiving myth: the Mayflower and the Wampanoag, 400 years on

Plus, artist Chantal Joffe on a poignant painting by Paula Modersohn-Becker

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An installation shot of the Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy exhibition at The Box Museum in Plymouth, England Courtesy of The Box Museum. Photo: Wayne Perry

It’s Thanksgiving on 26 November, so this week, we look at the myths behind this US holiday and particularly the story of the Mayflower—the ship that landed in Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts, 400 years ago. We talk to Jo Loosemore, the curator of the exhibition Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy at The Box in Plymouth, England, about the voyage, the settlement and decolonising the story.

And then we get the in-depth perspective of Steven Peters, the co-founder of the creative agency Smoke Sygnals and a member of the Wampanoag nation, the native inhabitants of the region around Plymouth Colony, who along with other tribes, had lived there for 10,000 years before the Europeans arrived. Steven curated the exhibition Our Story: the Early Days of the Wampanoag Tribe and the Pilgrims Who Followed at the Provincetown Museum in Massachusetts.

For this episode’s Work of the Week, the painter Chantal Joffe explores Paula Modersohn-Becker’s Self-Portrait, Age 30, 6th Wedding Day. You can listen to our full podcast interview A Brush With... Chantal Joffe here. Joffe's new show Naked is now open at Victoria Miro in London and available to view online (until 18 December).

Paula Modersohn-Becker's Self-Portrait on the sixth wedding anniversary (1906)

The Week in Art podcast by The Art Newspaper is available every Friday on our website and all the usual places where you find podcasts. This podcast is sponsored by Christie's.