For anyone able to safely travel in December or January, several museums have special exhibitions related to the history of food, medicine, and science. In addition to in-person exhibitions, several museums also have created online components or a completely virtual experience; be sure to check the websites for full descriptions, as well as information like hours, fees, directions, and COVID-19 updates. We also welcome readers to share your trips to any museums and exhibits of interest to the Recipes Project community on Twitter or Facebook!
The Art of Food: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
The University of Arizona Museum of Art (Tucson, AZ, USA)
Through 20 March 2022
The Art of Food, featuring over 100 works from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, displays how some of the most renowned artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have considered the subject of food. Through a range of media, artists contemplate the necessity of food for sustenance, community, and culture. The artwork displays a range of interaction with food, from production to cooking to consumption. In addition to the physical exhibition, the experience also includes Community Food Stories, a digital collection of stories authored by members of Tucson’s food community.
Science Gallery Bengaluru (Online Exhibition)
Through 31 December 2021
To explore the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, CONTAGION presents artistic, scientific, historical, and contemporary voices and perspectives. This online exhibition examines the transmission of emotions, behaviors, ideas, and diseases, so that visitors can contemplate their spread and impact. The exhibition goes beyond a website; instead, it is an immersive experience, providing writing prompts to all visitors, and frequent live events like lectures, workshops, film screenings, and more. This exhibition was curated by Danielle Olsen and Jahnavi Phalkey.
Rijksmuseum Boerhaave (Leiden, Netherlands)
Through 9 January 2022
This exhibition on contagious diseases considers historical outbreaks as well as the more recent coronavirus outbreak. Contagious! invites consideration about how people confronted epidemics in the past and how insights of past outbreaks can inform future responses. The exhibition includes both scientific objects and artistic works, such as a 17th century silk dress scented with lavender to ward off plague and a examples of historical and modern personal protective equipment for medical workers.
National Museum of Asian Art (Washington, DC, USA)
15 January–17 July 2022
In this forthcoming exhibition, a selection of paintings and objects from ancient Egypt to China displays the widespread interest and respect for falcons across time and cultures. The Art of the Hunt includes imagery from ancient Egypt, when falcons were associated with Horus; and from the eighth century on, when falcons were trained to become skillful hunters in the Islamic world, Byzantine empire, and China.
Museum of London Docklands (London, UK)
Through 17 July 2022
Feeding Black explores the central role of food in Black enterprise and identity in South East London. Through recipes, objects, and stories, the exhibition highlights four African- and Caribbean-owned businesses: Livity Plant Based Cuisine, African Cash & Carry, Junior’s market stall, and Zeret Kitchen. Feeding Black also showcases photography by Jonas Martinez and an original soundscape by Kayode ‘Kayodeine’ Gomez.
Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY, USA)
Through 31 December 2022
This exhibition explores the interrelated histories of glass and wine, especially how glass has been integral to the production and consumption of wine for thousands of years. Visitors will view collection items highlighting this relationship throughout time, like a 2,000-year-old fragment of cameo glass depicting a grape harvest, a still-sealed bottle of wine found in a shipwreck off the coast of England, and dozens of wine glasses from around the world. There is a particular focus the Finger Lakes region of New York State, which has been home to the glass and wine industries for over 150 years. This exhibition was curated by Katherine Larson, Curator of Ancient Glass at the Corning Musuem of Glass.
Tate Modern (London, UK)
Through 6 February 2022
This installation is an experimental work which explores the merging of technology and biology. The artist, Anicka Yi, invites visitors to consider their role in the ecosystems in which they live through the dissolution of boundaries between plants, animals, microbes, and machines. Yi has installed floating machines (aerobes) in the exhibition space to encourage thought about ways in which machines can inhabit a world without clear distinctions between the living and machines. The installation also includes scentscapes associated with the history of the installation space, Bankside Power Station, at specific points in history.
British Museum (London, UK)
Through 18 September 2022
Life in a Cup presents the story of coffee in parts of the Islamic world, allowing visitors to explore several coffee traditions. The exhibition traces the introduction of coffee into Istanbul by the early 16th century, explores centuries of coffeehouse culture in the Islamic world and beyond, and highlights the beautiful material culture of coffee.
National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC, USA)
Through October 2022
Outbreak provides visitors the opportunity to explore the relationship between the environment, people, animals, and microbes, and how professionals identify and respond to infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, Ebola virus, influenza, Zika virus, and others. Visitors can engage with interactive simulations to think like an epidemiologist, reflect on personal stories from survivors and frontline healthcare workers, and, through a multi-player game, work cooperatively with other visitors to contain an outbreak before it spreads further. Regular webinars are scheduled to compliment the exhibition; the schedule is available online, as well as recordings of past events.
Amsterdam Central Station (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
In this collaboration between Poppi Museum, Utrecht University (especially Stephen Snelders and Intoxicating Spaces), Inventors Guild, and Corné van der Stelt, visitors can experience how opium has been viewed and used over time. Artists and scholars worked together to translate the history of opium into an exhibition featuring visual and digital components. This pop-up exhibition won’t be up long, so be sure to visit it in the heart of Amsterdam in December.
If you’d like to feature a museum exhibition or collection on the Around the Table, please email Sarah Kernan.