Today, 15th August 2012, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Julia Child: Mistress of the Art of French Cooking. Although not so much an icon on these shores as in her native USA, Julia has become a recognisable name, largely thanks to Meryl Streep and Nora Efron. In a small way, Julia has even inspired me on my journey through museum land, you might remember this one, and today I felt the need to mention her again.
“But why are you writing about a celebrity chef?” you might ask. Well, dear reader(s), read on…
If you’ve seen Julie&Julia you might remember the end scene, in which Amy Adams visits Child’s kitchen in the Smithsonian and leaves an offering of butter to the dea domestica. Julia has become such an icon of the cooking world that in 2001, curators from one of the world’s leading museums managed to transport her kitchen – the set of three television shows and as the testing ground for many recipes featured in her cookbooks- to it’s hallowed halls. It quickly become the National Museum of American History’s most beloved exhibits, only to be disassembled a decade later for the sake of infrastructure improvement.
They have, however, reopened the kitchen at a new site, where the museum’s Hall of Agriculture used to be.
Julia’s kitchen is open again for a short time (September 3rd!). I’m not sure what will happen to it after that time, but I will keep you posted.