Sunday, January 01, 2017

Historic Kitchens and Banquets

"The Edible Monument" is the name of an exhibit currently on view at the Detroit Institute of Arts. This exhibit includes about 140 prints, rare books and serving manuals from the Getty Research Institute collection and private collections, as well as a very impressive sugar sculpture made by modern food artist Ivan Day. This sculpture, titled "Palace of Circe," is based on an 18th century print. "The figures were meant to impart the consequences of gluttony with a story about the ancient Greek hero Ulysses. When he landed on the island of Aeaea, his men were so greedy that the sorceress Circe turned them into pigs."

Ivan Day, "Palace of Circe," 2015. The original would have been used
to decorate a banquet table. The source dates to 1776. 
During our visit to the museum last week, I enjoyed the major items in this exhibit, which were images of decorated tables and banquet scenes from the 16th through early 19th century. I particularly was fascinated by a side room where several books showed images of kitchens, food shops, and food-preparation tools from these early times.

"The Food Shop" by Abraham Bosse, Netherlands, 1600s.
"The Butcher" by A-J de Fehrt, Paris, 1763.
"Room next to the kitchen and scullery," Venice, 1570.
"Outdoor kitchen with carving tools," Venice, 1596.

1 comment:

Debra Eliotseats said...

Looks like a great exhibit. One of our local museums had a Chocolate exhibit running recently.