Symposium: Kitchen and Table in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America

On April 29, the Bard Graduate Center hosted a symposium on the kitchen and table in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America. The cultural history of material goods has been largely incorporated into the categories of art or design history, but foodways, the ultimate in ephemera, are generally excluded from these studies. Food preparation and service was enmeshed within the same patronage and craft networks as much of the artwork that has been preserved in museums and collections, but its material traces remain on the margins, banished to the realm of re-enactors and hobbyists, or hiding in plain sight in more conventional display settings. The exploration of new worlds to the east and west of Europe led to changes in long-established culinary traditions. Publication and distribution of recipes helped to articulate regional, and eventually national, schools of cooking. Technical information concerning tools and methods was both codified and shared through the emerging medium of print.

Speakers included Peter Miller, Dean and Professor, Bard Graduate Center; Deborah Krohn, Associate Professor, Bard Graduate Center; Allen Grieco, Senior Research Associate, Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies; Melissa Calaresu, History, Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge; Bernie L. Herman, American Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Janine E. Skerry, Curator of Metals, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Sara Pennell, Humanities, Roehampton University.

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