at the
artist's table

From Still Life to Food Design


the Art
of making
Art Exhibitions

Course year 2015 - 2016

Dining at the artist's table - from
still life till food design

An exhibition about 19th century food still lifes and contemporary food design.


In Dining with the artist - from still life till food design from 26 Augustus to 30 October. Is the first exhibition at The Mesdag Collection in The Hague to focus on Sientje Mesdag-van Houten (1834–1909) – the woman behind the famous marine artist Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831–1915).
Food played an important role in Sientje’s life, both on canvas and on the plate. The food still lifes she painted and the festive dinners she organised at home with her husband Hendrik Willem are the starting point of this exhibition.
The exhibition looks at how Sientje and Hendrik Willem ate (the menu for the dinner to mark Sientje’s 70th birthday will be on show), and how food featured in Sientje’s work and in the couple’s art collection.
All this will be juxtaposed with contemporary art in which food is central. Contemporary artists interpret the food still life in a variety of ways and experiment with issues relating to our eating culture. Dining with the Artist shows food still lifes from the end of the nineteenth century alongside contemporary art and food design, thus highlighting the changes that have occurred in the artistic treatment of this theme then, now and in the future.
Dining with the Artist has been developed by trainees from ‘The Art of Exhibiting’ – a course for young creative professionals, organised by the Van Gogh Museum, which covers every aspect of staging an exhibition.

The Art of Making Art Exhibitions - a
course for young exhibition makers
hosted by the Van Gogh Museum

From this course the participants will develop the exhibition 'Dining with the artist' in The Mesdag Collection in The Hauqe. On this website you can read about the course, participants, blog and their progress.

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