An intriguing show has just opened at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown.
To Bucks County artist Kirby Fredendall, a cookbook is more than a collection of recipes—it is a form of literature written by and for women. In Add Sugar and Stir: Cookbooks and the Lives of Women, on view in the museum’s Pfundt Gallery from March 19 through June 26, Fredendall uses text and illustrations from actual cookbooks as the basis for complex and imaginative works of art. The exhibit is sponsored by Mary Lou and Andrew Abruzzese, The Pineville Tavern.
The artist has collected cookbooks for many years, and has found them to be profoundly engaging sources of information about the women who used them –the roles these women played within their families, marriages, and in their larger historical and social surroundings. She invites us to imagine the dreams and difficulties of women from a previous era, while quietly urging us to re-imagine our own era in light of the lessons learned and insights gained from something we look at every day but rarely see-our cookbooks.