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Photograph by Taylor Dabney
Aaron Fink (American, born 1955), "Red Pepper," 1993, lift-ground aquatint and spit bite aquatint with scraping and burnishing on Rives BFK paper, image 29 x 23.5 inches, Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museums, Center Street Studio Archives, H2016.06.11. © Aaron Fink
Feb 20, 2020
throughMay 01, 2020

Off the Menu: Museum Studies Seminar Exhibition

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University of Richmond Museums presents Off the Menu: Museum Studies Seminar Exhibition, on view from Feb 20 to May 1, 2020, in the Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature. The exhibition focuses on the relationship between food, culture, and identity. It is curated by students enrolled in the spring 2020 Museum Studies Seminar course, taught by N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University Museums.

Combining art and objects from the University Museums’ and Boatwright Library’s permanent collections, as well as work by local artists, students, and community members, Off the Menu creates a place for shared connections over a subject that is as popular on Instagram as it is in family celebrations and religious histories. An assortment of artworks depicting food and gatherings, as well as cultural artifacts related to food consumption and ceremonies will be presented along with displays that feature recipes, reflections, and reminiscences about food provided by local community, campus community members, and museum visitors. Featured artists include Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908-2004), Richmond-based artist Mimi King (American, born 1991), Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), and Barbara Weissberger (American, born 1960).

About the Exhibition

The exhibition has three sections and each section will call into question the different experiences visitors have revolving around food. 

The first section, What We Eat, encompasses artworks representing food in its various forms or stages. This section will prompt visitors to reflect upon their basic interactions with food, including dish preparation, memorable foods, and foods’ connection with various cultures. Visitors are also encouraged to reflect on the ingredients and the origins of their food. 

The second section, How We Eat, consists of historic and decorative objects as well as contemporary art, focusing on tools and actions for consuming food. This section will direct visitors to reflect more deeply about the relationship between food and their emotions or personal stories. It will motivate visitors to think beyond the food itself and reflect on the dining environment that impacts their daily food decisions.


The third section, Who We Eat With, presents two-dimensional works that visualize dining experiences accompanied by human interaction. It will facilitate conversations with visitors about the diverse social gatherings and interactions related to dining. It will also ask visitors to consider the difference between eating alone and eating with others as well as how food adds meaning to human connections via dining together.  


To create an engaging environment in the exhibition, the Museum Studies students have created several participatory activities within the exhibition. Visitors are encouraged to share their own favorite recipes, restaurants, and dining experiences.


Sunday, March 1, 2020, 2:00 to 4:00 pm - CANCELLED
Workshop, Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature
“Sharing Recipes and Stories: An Interactive Workshop”
Bring a copy of one of your favorite recipes or a description of one of your favorite foods to the workshop, where we will engage in one-on-one discussions, sharing personal stories as to how and why food is an important part of our lives, families, and cultures. Participants will make collages and other fun creations inspired by the conversations. All supplies provided, free but registration is required by calling Heather Campbell, Curator of Museum Programs, 804-287-6324 or email

Sunday, April 5, 1 to 3 p.m.
Family Day Celebration, Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature
Join us for a FREE arts-centered family fun day with current exhibitions, hands-on art activities, rock and mineral touch stations, and refreshments

Off the Menu: Museum Studies Seminar Exhibition

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