Monday, July 18, 2011

America's Kitchens

For a year now I've been looking at a bookmarked site called "America's Kitchens". When I first found the reference I was fascinated by the idea of a serious study of the kitchen. But for many many months I've rarely visited the site. Yet there it sits very near the top of my long list of bookmarks.

The site referenced is a page on the Historic New England website
( It refers to one of the traveling panel exhibitions sponsored by the association. In 2010 the exhibition was in its inaugural site and there was a year long list of programs associated with it. I tried, several times really, but could never quite get up to the Massachusetts where the mostly evening programs were being held.

But to my surprise it has resurfaced on Cape Cod at the Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich, MA and is on display from April 1 - October 31, 2011. Historic New England describes the exhibit as: "America’s Kitchens traces the role of the kitchen in people’s lives from the seventeenth century to today. Six vignettes (New England Hearth, Plantation Kitchen, Southwest Kitchen, Victorian Kitchen, Efficient Kitchen, and 1950s Kitchen) are created with a combination of room-size graphic murals, artifacts, such as a 1920s Hoosier cabinet, photographs, and personal stories. "

Lucky us. We on the Cape in late June. And while there was no special lecture we were able to view the exhibit. My favorite vignette is the turquoise kitchen. It was originally the second kitchen, used only on special occasions, in an Italian American family's home.

The website lists 7 traveling exhibitions that can be rented and set up around New England in various museums. My favorite title is "From Dairy to Doorstep: Milk Delivery in New England, 1860 - 1960". That's no doubt due to my fond memories of Brownie our milkman. Whoops he was our wonderful Wonder Bread delivery man not milkman. Well neither of them lasted once the supermarket moved into the neighborhood.

The dairy exhibition is the only one of the seven traveling exhibitions that can be viewed on line.
Go to

No comments:

Post a Comment