Monday, January 04, 2021

Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate: A Sensory Exhibit

"Bitter|Sweet: Coffee, Tea & Chocolate" was an exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2016-2017. Since the DIA can't let us have such great experiences this year, and I miss art museums desperately, I'm taking this opportunity to repeat some of my material about the exhibit (post here).  

"Bitter|Sweet" offered excitement to all five senses, not just the usual museum-goers' activity of seeing art. As we toured the exhibit, we looked at maps and historic information. We viewed a wide variety of paintings, prints, artifacts, and tableware related to the three beverages. We smelled some coffee beans in one display. We listened to the background music: Bach's Coffee Cantata. And in the final gallery we enjoyed tasting some historic chocolate concoctions.

This post is shared with Elizabeth and her Tuesday blog event featuring beverages.  © 2016, 2020 mae sander for mae food dot blog spot dot com. Let's hope we can really see art work in 2021!

First, a painting of Madame de Pompadour and her servant. The painting depicts two women with different levels of power; each have their hands on a cup of coffee, which was a new luxury product associated with the Turkish Empire. The picture was labeled: "On the left, an African woman serving coffee is a reminder of two colonial commodities: coffee and enslaved people." The exhibit had quite a few things to say about the role of slavery and colonialism in the rise of the three beverages.

"Madame de Pompadour as a Sultana," 

A coffee grinder that once belonged to Madame de Pompadour.

A porcelain sultan riding an elephant, and a little Turkish coffee cup.

A bust of Joseph Addison whose newspaper, I learned, was one of the influences
encouraging English people to consume coffee.

"The Strong Family," (1732, detail showing tea table)

The exhibit included several wall-sized maps showing coffee, tea, and chocolate production areas.

An amazing Sèvres tea and coffee service (1842-43)

21 comments:

Jeanie said...

I wanted to go to that one and missed it (how do you miss something that hangs on that long?) Thanks for all the wonderful visuals!

DVArtist said...

Wow!!! This IS a stunning gallery. Thank you for sharing it.

kwarkito said...

it's an exhibition report that makes you envious. It sounded quite interesting.

Linda Kunsman said...

I do miss visiting art exhibits as well...
thanks for sharing this wonderful exhibit- love that extravagant Sevres tea set. Happy T day!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I can always count on you to find the most creative and unusual ways to celebrate each week. This week is no different. I was most impressed, especially with the idea of colonialism and slavery, something that seems to blacken OUR history, too. I loved this post, Mae, and am SO glad you were able to visit the museum when this exhibition was on. Thank you for taking us there for T this Tuesday, dear.

Sharon Madson said...

Lovely post! Thanks for sharing again, because I didn't see it the first time. Happy New Year!

Kate Yetter said...

What a wonderful exhibition! I think that last piece is my favorite.
Happy Tea Day,
Kate

My name is Erika. said...

That looks like a really fascinating exhibit. It isn't a bad thing to revisit these exhibits because we get to see them, which is about all the visiting and traveling we can do right now. I'm with you about hoping we can visit museums in 2020. This was great for T. Hope you have a good one Mae.

kathyinozarks said...

I enjoyed this tour-thanks for taking us along
Happy T

Tandy | Lavender and Lime (http://tandysinclair.com) said...

That Sèvres tea set is amazing. We have two Sèvres plates but they are not as colourful. Off to drink my coffee now 😊

Valerie-Jael said...

This sounds like a wonderful exhibition! Love the photos! Happy T Day, Valerie

Iris Flavia said...

Thank you, this sure was another interesting one! Yes, let´s hope we can resume to normal life this year...

Eileen Bergen said...

Beautiful objets d'art.

Wishing you the best in 2021 and a Happy T-day today! Eileen

Jackie McGuinness said...

Oh how I miss going to exhibits like this.
You reminded me of one I attended a year or so ago, that I should post.

Divers and Sundry said...

The disparity between the powerful and the powerless isn't a new thing. That tea/coffee service is _gorgeous_! Happy T Tuesday :)

Dianne said...

Truly stunning art! thank you for sharing...oh, that tea set! gorgeous...

creativeseconds.com said...

Such beautiful items ~ The painting has such great light. Does fruit go into the large bowl of the tea set? Love, Karen

Let's Art Journal said...

What a beautiful exhibit! The last picture of the service is amazing, the mosaic and colours are so beautiful 😁. Happy T Day and wishing you all the best for the New Year! Hugs, Jo x

pearshapedcrafting said...

Wow! What a great event that must have been! Happy T Day, Chrisx

CJ Kennedy said...

This exhibit must have been fabulous to see in person. Happy T Day

Ju-Lyn said...

https://purplepumpernickelblog.wordpress.com/

I miss museum visits a great deal too; first outing I made after our lockdown was over.

They are starting to get crowded again so we have been visiting less.

Thank you for sharing this fabulous exhibition.