Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture

February 29 through March 13, 2020
September 5 through January 3, 2021

Food and dining were transformed in eighteenth-century Europe by profound changes that resonate to this day. What many of us eat, the way food is cooked, and how we dine continue to be influenced by radical changes that took place in France between 1650 and 1789, the start of the French Revolution. Savor explores the details and events behind this transformation. Rare objects, from early cookbooks and gardening manuals to tureens in the forms of cauliflowers and chickens, reveal fascinating histories and stories about advances in horticulture, surprisingly modern philosophies on healthy eating, and a shift to more informal dining.

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Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture is organized by the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, and curated by Meredith Chilton, Curator Emerita at the Gardiner Museum. This presentation of the exhibition is a collaboration between the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and the Gardiner Museum.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated cookbook, The King’s Peas: Delectable Recipes and Their Stories from the Age of Enlightenment.


Click here to access the Savor Mobile Tour from any location on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.


September 10 | Virtual Gallery Talk: Pleasing the Eye and Palate with curator emeritus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jeff Munger
September 12 | Second Saturdays for Families: Season’s Harvest
September 21 | Online Lecture: Ice Cream in the Age of Enlightenment with food historian Ivan Day
September 29 | Virtual Gallery Talk: Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture with Curator Linda Roth


Tours of the exhibition take place on Sundays at 11am & Wednesdays at 1pm. Space is limited and reservations are required via

Major support provided by Beatrice Koopman, Dorothy Brooks Koopman, and Rena Koopman through the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving with additional support from the David T. Langrock Foundation, Duff Ashmead and Eric Ort, Mr. Gerard Lupacchino and Mr. Lynn C. Beaulieu, Agnes and Bill Peelle, the Design and Decorative Arts Council and Bank of America.

Sustaining support for the Wadsworth Atheneum provided by Newman’s Own Foundation and the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign.

Images: Boy and Girl Shelling Peas, England, Chelsea, c. 1759–70. Soft-paste porcelain, enamels, and gilding. Photograph © 2019 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Richard C. Paine; Carp Tureen and stand, England, Chelsea, c. 1755. Soft-paste porcelain, enamels. Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Canada. Courtesy of Michele Beiny. Photo by Michele Beiny/Richard Goodbody; Tureen with cover, France, Sceaux, c. 1755.  Tin-glazed earthenware (faience). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. Gift of R. Thornton Wilson, in memory of Florence Ellsworth Wilson, 1954.