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This extraordinary collection of rare books and prints on gastronomy from the 15th through the 19th century offers unique insight into the visual culture of food. The elaborate art of culinary preparation, consumption, and display reveals food's status as a symbol of political and social power. Amassed by antiquarian cookbook collectors Anne Willan and Mark Cherniavsky over a period of 40 years, the collection comprises nearly 200 books published before 1830 and hundreds from the 19th and 20th centuries.



Highlights include Johannes Cassianus's De institutis coenobiorum, Collationes partum (Venice, 1491), which describes fasting and feasting within a monastic order; M. Emy's L'art de bien faire les glaces d'office (Paris, 1768), which opens with an evocation of cupids making ice cream; and Antonin Carême's Le maitre d'hotel Francais (Paris, 1823), which contains recipes for dinners given for, among others, Tsar Nicholas I, George IV, and Prince Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand.



The collection's many early modern books, which illustrate elaborate feasts, celebrations, and processions, complement the Getty Research Institute's unparalleled festival collection. Also included is Willan's working library of cookbooks, her professional archives, and the archives of École de Cuisine La Varenne, which she founded in 1975.