So what’s cooking in your kitchen?
Are you stirring the pot of your vegetable soup using the latest gadgets? Peeling potatoes with a decades old peeler to make mashed potatoes? How proud are you when you show off your latest stainless steel kitchen acquisition? Are your dog-eared kitchen cookbooks authentic classics? Is your refrigerator door– magnetically-speaking-totally covered over?
Important questions like those need visual answers.
So it’s no wonder that reminiscing about family life in the kitchen is bringing out huge crowds to New York City’s Museum of Modern Art where from now through the coldest days of the coming winter, you can stay warm and look back…and forward…at the artistic side of the kitchen of your own home as well as that of your grandparents, parents, and maybe even the kitchens of your children and grandchildren.
Just a few floors away from MoMA’s Chagall, Picasso and Matisse paintings are a different set of masterpieces: The kitchens. The new MoMA exhibit is called “Counter Space: Design of the Modern Kitchen.” Visit and you’ll enjoy looking at MoMA’s collection and looking back at how kitchen technology has changed over the last century.
Cultural variables, lifestyle and family differences-you can see how the twentieth century kitchen transformation has changed our lives for the better. Machines have obviously modernized the way we work in the modern kitchen but even simple hand-held peeling and whisking devices have changed from the simple to the simpler, albeit futuristically stylized.
Included in this exhibition are cabinets and counters that blend together to form architecturally-appealing places for individuals and families to enjoy some quality time together. New York City’s Museum of Modern Art exhibit on Fifty-Third Street off Fifth Avenue is showcasing a variety show of true culinary genius.
Grab a pair of earphones by one exhibit to listen in to some fifty year old black and white television commercials for Tupperware and see just how well the marketing of one simple party concept brilliantly worked. There is also some interesting newsreel footage looking back at how important plastic material has been to the dedicated kitchen chef.
Other highlights of the MoMA exhibit include a model look at some European-style
kitchens as well as vintage footage showing scenes of kitchens that appeared in some popular films. Then there’s a giant photographic blowup of the historic
“Kitchen Debate” back in 1959. The debate took place between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and then Vice-President Richard Nixon. They stood at a kitchen display in a Moscow exhibition and had a so-called ‘kitchen cold-war’ challenge on the merits of communism vs. capitalism.
Check out the plastic food display from Japan which tells the story of how many Japanese restaurants actually convert their menu of specialty dishes into plastic pieces so diners can see what they’ll be eating.
In addition, advertising buffs will love looking at some of the old posters including one of a successful ad campaign for Levy’s Rye Bread. Remember their memorable slogan? “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s.”
From preparing for a big Sunday night dinner to grabbing an after-school snack, kitchens have been and continue to be true hubs of family living and activity. Come to MoMA and see what’s been cooking, historically speaking, in and out of the kitchen.