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Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture

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Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture
Through January 3, 2021

To support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art will temporarily close effective March 14. Learn more about our plans to welcome you back here.

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.

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.



March 12 | Gallery Talk: Curator Linda Roth reveals connections to the ways we consume food and dine today CANCELED
March 14 | Encounters: Dig into discussions about food cultivation CANCELED
March 14 | Market Finds: Discover what happens when food and art collide during Second Saturdays for Families CANCELED
March 19 | Gallery Talk: Learn about eighteenth-century eating habits with exhibition curator Meredith Chilton CANCELED
March 21 | Food & Film: Dangerous Liaisons CANCELED
March 25 | The Dining Room Then and Now: A panel discussion with Jessica Harris, Thomas Jayne, David Dangremond, and Brandy Culp CANCELED
April 9 | Gallery Talk: Delectable Art with curator emeritus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jeff Munger POSTPONED
April 11 | Green Thumbs: Celebrate Earth Day with Auerfarm during Second Saturdays for Families CANCELED
April 17  | French Film Weekend: Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge CANCELED
April 18 | French Film Weekend: The Hunchback of Notre Dame CANCELED
April 18 | French Film Weekend: Someone, Somewhere (Deux Moi) CANCELED
April 18 | French Film Weekend: Portrait of a Lady on Fire CANCELED
April 25 | Food & Film: Sense and Sensibility CANCELED
April 26 | Beneficial Botany POSTPONED
April 28 | Tuesday Tasting: A Revolution in Food CANCELED
May 3 | Gallery Talk: A Feast for the Senses with curator Linda Roth
May 3 | Sunday Serenades: Savory Sounds of Strauss & Beethoven
May 7 | Lecture: Ice Cream in the Age of Enlightenment with Ivan Day POSTPONED
May 8 | Gallery Talk: Salivating over Art with Ivan Day POSTPONED
May 9 | Five Senses: Farm animal cuddling, and an ice cream demonstration with Ivan Day during Second Saturdays for Families


Tours of the exhibition take place on Saturday & Sunday at 2:30pm from March 7–May 24.


Throughout the exhibition visitors are invited to activate their senses. Gently touch and smell a variety of herbs growing in the Herb Garden and on the Sensory Wall in Avery Court. Interact with 3D printed replicas of objects in the exhibition at the Setting the Table activity. Eighteenth-century recipes adapted for today are available to take home, make, and post your plate to #SavortheWadsworth. 



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.