Penn Library Exhibitions

HOUSEHOLD WORDS: Women Write from and for the Kitchen

I am indebted to many people for their contributions and support during the preparation of the exhibition. Several students have facilitated my research by making the rare cookbook collection the basis of their independent studies. Karoline Wallace has worked on the exhibition with me as diligently and as thoughtfully as if it were her own. It has benefited from her ideas, insights, and enthusiasm, in particular, the section on still-room books. To her I also owe my first experience with a computerized data base with all of its delights and woes. As she said to me, "Computers do what you tell them to, not what you want them to." Dana Plansky researched the area of domestic medicine and parts of the exhibition reflect her interests and data-gathering. Jerry Drew read and researched many of the manuscripts in the collection and provided an historical context. Evelyn Feldman, of the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, graciously shared with me ideas and bibliographic data. For tracking down sources in American culinary history and selecting sumptuous menus for the reception and dinner, I am grateful to Suzanne Weltman.

I have been deeply influenced by scholarship in the fields of culinary history and women's studies. Most notable among them are the works of Mary Anna DuSablon, Lynette Hunter, Jan and Daniel Longone and Glenna Matthews.

The texts have benefited from Katherine Pollak's keen critical eye and relentless search for "the perfect word." Her suggestions made clarity inevitable. For their thoughtful readings and comments I would also like to thank: Regina Bendix, Lynne Farrington, Margaret Kreusi, John Pollack, Nancy Shawcross, Lisa Ratmansky, Elisabeth Rozin, Katherine Schultz, Dan Traister, Nancy Watterson, and Yael Zerubavel. Greg Bear provided expert guidance in the design of the cases and the catalogue. To Regina and John Bendix I am grateful for the translation of Anna Weckerin's cookbook and for stimulating discussions about these texts.

I am grateful to Michael Ryan and Dan Traister for the invitation to curate the exhibition and to Richard Hendrix for his generosity in allowing me time to work on the project. A special thank you to Denise Miller for tending the MLA program and its students while I was tilling other gardens.

A never-ending thank you to Jeff Shultz who read and reread the text, fixed Word files and printers, and who provided support, encouragement and food throughout the months of the project.

Janet Theophano
Department of Folklore and Folklife
Associate Director, College of General Studies
University of Pennsylvania

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