ESNA: Food, glorious food

Food, glorious food: food at the heart of nineteenth-century art

Antwerp, Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS), 8-9 June 2017

Organized by ESNA (European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art) and MAS Antwerp, in conjunction with the exhibition ‘Antwerp à la carte’.

This year’s two-day international ESNA conference intends to study the various and complex relations between food, the experience of eating, and nineteenth-century art. Although food has always been a subject in the arts, the modes of production, distribution and consumption of nourishment changed radically during the course of the nineteenth century. Food decisively entered the public sphere and consciousness in cities where new sites of consumption in the form of mouth-watering food shops and restaurants emerged. At the same time food became a marker of national identity, of gender identity, of ‘taste’, of affluence, and of social and economic status.

Modern phenomena such as industrialization, liberalization of the market, urbanization, rise of the middle class, issues of nationality and gender, leisure time and economic upheaval affected the gastronomic field as well as the depiction of it in the visual arts. A new fascination for food emerged and was reflected in the entire panoply of the artistic field, ranging from recipes, food literature, decorative arts and interior design to works of art and art criticism.

See the conference website for more details.