Rochester, N.Y., June 20, 2016—Nearly forty years after the idea was born, The Photographers Cookbook has been released. In the late 1970s, the George Eastman Museum approached a group of photographers to ask for their favorite recipes and food-related photographs to go with them, in pursuit of publishing a cookbook. The concept grew from the idea that a photographer’s talent in the darkroom likely translated into special skills in the kitchen. Dozens of photographers sent submissions, but editor Deborah Barsel left the museum before preparations were complete, and the planned publication never came to fruition—until now. The book, co-published by the George Eastman Museum and Aperture, includes an essay by Lisa Hostetler, curator in charge of the Department of Photography at the museum.
The Photographers Cookbook is a time capsule of contemporary photography in the 1970s, providing insight into how a wide range of photographers depicted food, family, and home at a time when the field of photography was experiencing dramatic changes. The book takes readers behind the camera and into the hearts and appetites of some of photography’s most important practitioners.
“This project was more fun than I had any right to expect. When Denise Wolff with Aperture and I perused the materials—which were discovered in a banker’s box inscribed with the magic-markered words ‘Photo Cookbook’—our first reaction was one of delight,” said Hostetler. “I realized that knowing a photographer’s favorite food could provide unanticipated and relevant information about his or her work. Some of the recipes are a bit odd in a distinctly 1970s way, while others are really tasty!”
Playing off George Eastman’s own famous recipe for lemon meringue pie, as well as former Eastman Museum director Beaumont Newhall’s love of food, the recipes include Robert Adam’s Big Sugar Cookies, Ansel Adams’s Poached Eggs in Beer, Richard Avedon’s Royal Pot Roast, Imogen Cunningham’s Borscht, William Eggleston’s Cheese Grits Casserole, Stephen Shore’s Key Lime Pie Supreme, and Ed Ruscha’s Cactus Omelet.
This extensive and distinctive group of recipes and photographs will be available to the public in The Photographers Cookbook for the very first time. The 160-page hardcover book is available now ($29.95). To purchase, visit eastman.org.
About Lisa Hostetler (essay author)
Lisa Hostetler is curator in charge, Department of Photography at the George Eastman Museum. Previously she worked as curator of photography at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Milwaukee Art Museum, where she curated exhibitions including Taryn Simon: Photographs and Texts, In Living Color: Photographs by Saul Leiter, and Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America—for which she an essay in an accompanying title published by Aperture in 2013.
About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and, through its two joint master’s degree programs with the University of Rochester, makes critical contributions to the fields of film preservation and of photographic preservation and collection management. For more information, visit eastman.org.
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