An Affair of Taste

November 9, 2016 (Wednesday) / 5:00 pm6:30 pm

Widener Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

An Affair of Taste

Reading in the Kitchen

Mary Ann Caws

Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, English, and French, City University of New York

Artists, writers, and poets have long had a love affair with food. In The Modern Art Cookbook, shortlisted for the 2013 André Simon Food and Drink Book Award, author, art historian, translator, and literary critic Mary Ann Caws celebrates that love affair with a moveable feast for the senses. Join us for a lecture that delightfully pairs recipes with some of the twentieth century’s most memorable works of art and literature. Whether it’s oysters by Matisse and Hemingway, artichokes by Frida Kahlo and Pablo Neruda, cocktails by Ogden Nash and Picasso, or cafe au lait by Colette and Cassatt, Caws describes that most uniquely human experience: the making, sharing, and savoring of food.

An expert on surrealism as well as modern English and French literature who works on the interrelations between visual art and literature, Mary Ann Caws is a prolific author of well over 75 books, editions, and translations. Her works include biographies of Picasso, Dali, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and Henry James. 

She is past president of the Association for Study of Dada and Surrealism, the Modern Language Association of America, the Academy of Literary Studies, and the American Comparative Literature Association. She is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. She also served as senior editor for HarperCollins World Reader.

In addition to her many scholarly publications, Caws has written a cookbook memoir, Provençal Cooking: Savoring the Simple Life in France, a "delightful and lyric meditation on Provence and its food."