HARTFORD — Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture, on view Feb. 29 to May 25 at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main Street, tells fascinating stories about advances in horticulture, surprisingly modern philosophies on healthy eating, and a shift to more informal dining that developed in eighteenth-century Europe said a release from the Museum. Replete with rare objects, from tureens in the forms of cauliflowers and chickens, to early cookbooks and gardening manuals, Savor reveals that 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 and England between 1650 and 1789, the start of the French Revolution. Related programs throughout the run of the exhibition activate these stories and illustrate how many of our twenty-first century foodways have roots that are centuries old.
Gallery Talk: Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture. March 12; noon. Curator Linda Roth discusses works of art that emerged from the changing food culture in France and England during the eighteenth century, and reveals connections to the ways we consume food and dine today. Free with admission.
Second Saturdays for Families: Market Finds. March 14; 10am-1pm. Work with youth from Forge City Works to make art that looks good enough to eat. Join a docent tour of Savor and discover what happens when food and art collide. Museum admission is free during Second Saturdays activities.
Encounters: Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture. March 14; 10am-1pm. Dig into discussions about food cultivation in conjunction with the exhibition. Short readings will be provided in advance. Refreshments and lunch included. Free with RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 10 to reserve a seat and lunch.
Gallery Talk: The King’s Peas. March 19; noon. Learn about the social and economic changes that impacted eating habits in eighteenth-century Europe with Meredith Chilton, Curator Emerita at the Gardiner Museum, Toronto. Free with admission.
Food & Film: Dangerous Liaisons. March 21; 3:15pm tour of Savor, 4pm film, 6pm French-inspired wine dinner. Tour the exhibition before a screening of Dangerous Liaisons, a powerful study of seduction, betrayal, and sexual gamesmanship set among the French aristocracy prior to the French Revolution. A French-inspired wine dinner in Morgan Great Hall follows the film. $75; $70 members. View the dinner menu and purchase tickets at thewadsworth.org.
Panel Discussion: The Dining Room Then and Now. March 25; 5pm reception and exhibition viewing, 6pm discussion. A fascinating conversation about the architecture of dining with award-winning culinary historian Jessica Harris, internationally-renowned designer Thomas Jayne, Winterthur-trained educator David Dangremond, and Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts Brandy S. Culp. Learn about the customs across cultures that have shaped and defined the dining room as a gathering place and how current trending of the Great Room, a place for living and dining, both repeats and challenges the past. Known for room designs that reflect his admiration for history, Thomas Jayne explores connections and evolutions in the architecture of dining then and now. Jessica Harris, author of twelve cookbooks and a member of the Smithsonian’s Kitchen Cabinet, bring a vast knowledge of foodways to the table. Together the panelists discuss how the culture of food and desire for comfort and conviviality gave shape to the dining room over time. Co-sponsored by The Design and Decorative Arts Council at the Wadsworth. Free. Enter at 29 Atheneum Square North.
Gallery Talk: Delectable Art. Thursday, April 9; noon. Explore the eighteenth-century objects and works of art in Savor crafted to delight the senses and fuel a passion for French cooking with Metropolitan Museum of Art curator, Jeff Munger. Free with admission.
Second Saturdays for Families: Green Thumbs. April 11; 10am-1pm. Celebrate Earth Day with Auerfarm and discover the colors, shapes, and textures found in nature. Create a work of art using herbs and plants you might find in your garden. Admission is free during Second Saturdays activities.
French Film Weekend. Presented in collaboration with the Alliance Française de Hartford.. Film admission: $10; $9 seniors and students w/ ID; $8 members; free for Film Stars.
Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge. Friday, April 17; 7pm
The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Saturday, April 18; 11am
Someone, Somewhere (Deux Moi). Saturday, April 18; 1:15pm tour of Savor, 2pm film
Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Saturday, April 18; 4:30pm
Food & Film: Sense and Sensibility. Saturday, April 25; 3:15pm tour of Savor, 4pm film, 6:15pm wine dinner. Based on Jane Austen’s novel, rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The situation forces Mrs. Dashwood to find the proper suitors for the young women. Followed by dinner in Morgan Great Hall. $69; $65 members. View the dinner menu and purchase tickets at thewadsworth.org.
Tuesday Tasting: A Revolution in Food. Tuesday, April 28; 5-7pm tasting, 7pm film screening. Sample an array of small bites prepared by CT Restaurant Association’s “Restauranteur of the Year” Helmar Wolf, owner of the Mill Restaurant Group, and award-winning Chef Steven Wolf. Arethusa Farm Dairy products, and desserts from Cake by Franck will be featured alongside chocolates, beer, soda, spirits, and French wine. Expand your mixology skills as well as your taste buds in a demonstration about how to shake up the perfect cocktail. Take a moment to cleanse your palette during a gallery talk by Chef Lindsay Perkins. After the tasting, feast your eyes on the documentary The Biggest Little Farm. $50; $48 members. Purchase at thewadsworth.org.
Beneficial Botany. Sunday, April 26; 2pm. Botanical exploration, trade, and advances in agriculture during the Enlightenment fundamentally altered diets and lifestyles in Europe, America, and beyond. Botanist Matthew Opel of the University of Connecticut Plant Biodiversity Conservatory displays a selection of living plants that provide us with food, beverage, and medicine, and discusses the origins of these useful plants and their journeys across the globe. Free with admission to Fine Art & Flowers.
Gallery Talk: A Feast for the Senses. Sunday, May 3; 1pm. A tour of Savor with curator Linda Roth illuminates eighteenth-century dining conventions, ranging from the grand formality of a lavish banquet to an intimate meal, before the Sunday Serenades concert Savory Sounds. Free with admission.
Sunday Serenades. Savory Sounds: Strauss & Beethoven. Sunday, May 3; 2pm. Nourish the soul with an afternoon of delectable music that excites the senses in conjunction with the exhibition. $30; $25 for HSO subscribers and Wadsworth members. For tickets and information, visit hartfordsymphony.org or call (860) 987-5900.
Lecture: Ice Cream in the Age of Enlightenment. Thursday, May 7; 5pm reception and exhibition viewing, 6pm lecture. The engaging food historian Ivan Day plots the evolution of ice cream, once an Enlightenment party trick turned luxury treat served to empresses. The earliest recipe book devoted entirely to ice cream, published in Paris before electrical refrigeration and on view in Savor, offers over one hundred different varieties, including ices of wine, jasmine, truffles, and a host of other extraordinary flavors. Free. Enter at 29 Atheneum Square North.
Gallery Talk: Salivating over Art. Friday, May 8; noon. Culinary expert Ivan Day shares insights about his favorite artworks on view in Savor during this personalized tour of the exhibition. Free with admission.
Second Saturdays for Families: Five Senses. May 9; 10am-1pm. Meet and cuddle with goats from Bradley Mountain Farm. Culinary historian Ivan Day demonstrates how ice cream was made 300 years ago, without electricity or a modern freezer. Taste the results! Explore Savor with a docent to learn more about how food and dining has transformed over time. Admission is free during Second Saturdays activities.
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. Hear from curator Meredith Chilton, chef Lindsay Perkins, artist Chris Antemann, cookbook author Robert Landolphi, and others who recorded for the audio tour available at tap.thewadsworth.org.
Visit www.thewadsworth.org for the most up to date Savor program information.