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The Photog­ra­pher’s Cookbook

c. 2016

Photographers Cookbook Cookbooks George Eastman Museum 7

In 1977, Deborah Barsel, assis­tant regis­trar at the George Eastman Museum, crafted the begin­ning stages of The Photographer’s Cook­book, playing off George East­man’s own famous recipe for lemon meringue pie, as well as former direc­tor Beau­mont Newhal­l’s love of food. Over 120 promi­nent photog­ra­phers of the time responded to Barsel’s submis­sion request for photographer’s to send in their favorite recipes and food-related photographs. The recipes do not disap­point, with Ansel Adams’ Poached Eggs in Beer, Imogen Cunning­ham’s Borscht, William Eggle­ston’s Cheese Grits Casse­role, and Ed Ruscha’s Cactus Omelette, to name a few. However, these submis­sions were left in the museum’s archives for forty years.

By 2016, the seven­ties came back to life, as these submis­sions were found by the George Eastman Museum. With a total of 49 recipes, the book provides a time capsule for literal and visual tastes of the era, rooted in the embrace and recog­ni­tion of photog­ra­phy as a legit­i­mate art form that took shape in museums and galleries. Each photog­ra­pher offers the reader a look within their lives, explain­ing why they chose this recipe before the equip­ment and recipe are revealed.

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