This exhibition explores the world-famous cookbook Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well (La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene) published by Pellegrino Artusi in 1891. More than a cookbook, this book was a political project – the contribution Artusi wanted to give his country, laboriously unified a few years earlier. Artusi’s work aimed to reflect the traditions of the whole country, not denying the extraordinary variety of local traditions, rather putting them into circulation, making them known and shared. This project – also a linguistic one: telling the kitchen in a “national” language that everyone could understand – worked in a “inter-active”, almost a collective way, involving the many readers who sent Artusi suggestions, advice and new recipes. That’s why La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene became a sort of collective work, adding more and more recipes over twenty years and fifteen editions, and published up until Artusi’s death (1911).

This exhibition includes 14 panels about Pellegrino Artusi and the culinary unification of Italy, as well as Italian and Italian-American cookbooks from the UW-Madison library collections.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago, The Italian Consulate in Chicago, Casa Artusi, Regione Emilia Romagna, and the Department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other related events are co-sponsored by European Studies, the Department of French and Italian, the Italian Club at UW-Madison. With special thanks to UW-Madison librarians Jules Arensdorf and Karen Dunn.

Other events linked to the exhibition will take place on campus in March-April 2019:

Click here for a full schedule of events.