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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

You Are What You Eat; Food in Art

  • Luau Pitcher and Lid

    Slide Notes

    Over in the Arts of the Americas wing, we'll check out this funny-shaped Luau pitcher. What material is this made out of and why would that be so important to most Americans? What inventions and processes from World War II made this object possible and changed the face of every-day life? What sort of fruit is this shaped as and why did the artist choose that form? 

    Details

    "Luau" pitcher and lid

    1950–65

    Minerware, Inc.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 23.5 x 18.4 x 14 cm (9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 5 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Plastic (polyethylene)

    Classification

    Plastics

    Accession Number

    2006.1878a-b

    Collections
    Americas
    On View
    1940s and 1950s - 336 More Info

    Description

    Pineapple shaped, plastic pitcher

    Multimedia

  • Classical Still-Life Painting

    Slide Notes

    In this conservatively traditional piece, why would the artist choose to just depict a table of food? Is there anything else we can see in the image? What purpose would an image like this have had and why would someone want to display it? 

    Details

    Still Life with Bread, Ham, Cheese, and Vegetables

    about 1772

    Luis Meléndez, Spanish, 1716–1780

    Dimensions

    61.9 x 85.1 cm (24 3/8 x 33 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    39.40

    Collections
    Europe
    On View
    Coolidge III Gallery (European Paintings) -249 More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Toys for your Food! Porcelain...

    Slide Notes

    What does this little clay sculpture have to do with food? How would it have been used in the context of an 18th-century formal dinner party? What function would it have served and what would our modern day equivalent be?

    Details

    Figure of a Lady with an Owl Disguised as a Baby

    about 1750

    Capodimonte Manufactory, Italian (near Naples)

    Dimensions

    Height: 15.9 cm (6 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Soft-paste porcelain with enamel and gilded decoration

    Classification

    Ceramics

    Accession Number

    2006.950

    Collections
    Europe
    On View
    Future AOE Gallery (18th c.) - 142 More Info

    Description

    In yellow cap, white dress trimmed in gold and puce, and blue and gold shoes.

    Multimedia

  • Eat More of This, Less of That!...

    Slide Notes

    We'll head over to a special exhibition of posters from World War II and try to figure out why this one is telling us what to eat. Why would it suggest that we only eat particular foods? Where would these foods have come from and why would some be available in higher quantities than others? Where would this poster have been displayed and who was its target audience?

    Details

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Make Your Own Snack! Pre-Tour...

    Slide Notes

    Join us down in the Alfond Auditorium Lobby, from 1:10PM to 1:30PM, to make little paper sandwiches before we head out on our tour!

    Details

    Description

    Multimedia