Domestic life in the United States of America is impacted in ways big and small by the full history of the country. Family Dinner illustrates these impacts with intimacy and immediacy.
Artwork: Justin Rothshank, Martin Luther King Jr. place setting from The People’s Dinnerware, 2006-2020.
The physical center and conceptual starting point for the exhibition is Justin Rothshank’s The People’s Dinnerware. The installation of ceramic place settings commemorates each president of the United States in addition to critical and often under-represented figures from each presidential era. The project represents a methodical undertaking in self-education and historical revisionism that has evolved for the artist since 2006. Similarly, four artworks from Melissa Blount’s textile abecedarium (or ABC book), Black Girl Magic, highlight historical and contemporary women little known or absolutely unknown in American culinary history.
In contrast, Katie Butler depicts extravagant meals of the uber-rich in an exploration of America’s increasing wealth gap. The paintings question “who gets to feast, who has to clean up the mess, and who is really picking up the tab.” Other works by Tajh Rust and other artists complete the exhibition with representations and explorations of the dinner table, domestic life, and history across multiple media.
Learn more about the work on view during special tours, artist talks, and virtual events. Some events require advance registration. See all events here.