When is asparagus not asparagus? When it is ice cream, of course! In this three-course foodless dinner party, Ivan Day explores culinary slapstick, the changing role of dining utensils, and other subjects from early modern dining. These mini-lectures are interwoven with interludes of music played on period instruments by Sonnambula.

Ivan Day is an independent historian of the social history and culture of food. He is celebrated for his reconstructions of historical table settings, which combine museum objects with accurate re-creations of period dishes. His work has been exhibited in many major museums in the UK, Europe, and North America, including the Getty Research Institute, Detroit Institute of Arts, Gardiner Museum, and Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He is an old friend of Bard Graduate Center; in 2007, he worked on a re-creation of an imperial table featuring a Meissen Parnassus by Johann Joachim Kändler for the BGC exhibition Fragile Diplomacy: Meissen Porcelain for European Courts, ca. 1710–63.

This program was organized in conjunction with the spring 2023 exhibition Staging the Table in Europe 1500–1800.

Support for the exhibition is generously provided by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and Joseph S. Piropato with additional support by Cafaro Foundation, The Roy and Niuta Titus Foundation, and Suzanne Slesin and Michael Steinberg, as well as donors to Bard Graduate Center.