The exhibition 'Dining at the artist’s table – From Still Life to Food Design' was on display from 26 August to 30 October 2016.
Dining at the artist’s table – From Still Life to Food Design was the first exhibition at The Mesdag Collection 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 starting point of this exhibition was the food still lifes she painted and the festive dinners she organised at home with her husband Hendrik Willem.
The exhibition examined how Sientje and Hendrik Willem dined (the menu for the dinner reception celebrating Sientje’s 70th birthday was on display), and how food featured in Sientje’s work and in the couple’s art collection.
This was juxtaposed by contemporary art focusing on food. Contemporary artists interpret the food still life in a variety of ways, and experiment with matters relating to our gastronomic culture. Dining at the artist’s table exhibited food still lifes from the end of the 19th 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 at the artist’s table was developed by participants of ‘The Art of Making Art Exhibitions’. This comprehensive training programme for young creative professionals is organised by the Van Gogh Museum and covers all aspects of exhibition creation.
The participants also used Dining at the artist’s table to launch the digital platform www.dkvht.nl.