Author Archives: lightray

Visual Voyages through Latin America


Visual Voyages through Latin America

Saturday 9/30 from 9:00am to 12:30pm; repeats 10/7 from 9:00am to 12:30pm

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

Tour the exciting special exhibition Visual Voyages with Maite. Make connections among art, science, and the environment in Latin America, from the voyages of Columbus to the publications of Charles Darwin in the mid-19th century through the 100 objects on display. After the tour prepare a contemporary Latin American meal. (The exhibit is part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.) ($85 members; $100 non-members)

registration info to follow

image: Albert Eckhout, Fruits, Pineapple and, Melon etc., 1640–1650, oil on canvas, 35 13/16 × 35 13/16 in., N.92. Photo: John Lee, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen.


Cooking Art History: Sugar Baby


Cooking Art History: Sugar Baby

This blog was featured in The Huffington Post on June 17, 2014.

Sugar. Talk of it is everywhere. It’s one of the leading causes of obesity and diabetes in our country. It is an ingredient so common to us that it is difficult to imagine a world without it.

The first reference to sugar in classical literature is attributed to Nearchos of Crete, one of Alexander the Great’s commanders, who in 327 BC reported “a reed in India brings forth honey without the help of bees” while sailing from the mouth of the Indus River to the Euphrates in modern Punjab. The 1st century Greek naturalist Dioscorides accurately described it as “a kind of solidified honey of a similar consistency to salt”. The idea that sugar was a kind of salt persisted well into the Middle Ages when it was occasionally referred to as “Indian salt.” READ MORE »

Cooking Art History: Dining With Matisse

Cooking Art History: Dining With Matisse

This blog was featured in The Huffington Post on May 16, 2014.

I’m beyond thrilled to head to my home state of Texas in July to teach a series of classes, Dining with Matisse, inspired by the special exhibition, Matisse: Life in Color, at the San Antonio Museum of Art. French food, art and culture are on my mind.

Matisse lived during France’s Belle Époque. Café culture was at its height, and cafés were where artists came together to exchange stories, discuss ground breaking artistic styles, and eat good food. This good food has a history.

It is said that table manners in Europe changed during the Renaissance when Catherine de Medici married Henry II and moved to France with her cooks. Her chefs de cuisine brought with them innovative recipes, fine tablecloths and introduced silverware, most notably, the fork. Until well into the 16th century, French cooking still had the strong flavors of Medieval Europe but by the 17th century, the French palate had grown more sophisticated and food a more integral part of court festivities. READ MORE »