May 6, 2022 – Late Summer 2022
Opening May 6, we’re pleased to present an experimental prototype exhibit, Awaken, exploring the themes of food, cooking, dining, and inheritance.
Henry Mercer was inspired to establish this museum because he wanted to give people tangible reminders of the crafts and customs of preindustrial daily life. He also wanted visitors to remember what has been collectively passed down to them: a shared inheritance of creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and making do. We do something similar when we cook and serve food around a table: we keep traditions alive, update them for changing times, remember people who taught us to cook, follow time-tested recipes, and use heirloom kitchen tools that still work after years of use. We are the heirs to stories, customs, advice, special tastes and evocative smells—things that aren’t tangible unless we make them so.
This exhibit will include two installations inside the museum: one devoted to cooking and recipes on Level 3, the other devoted to dining and unforgettable meals on Level 5. When you visit and explore, we hope that you will share some of your own food-related stories, traditions and memories with us and with each other, adding to our collective understanding of culinary customs as they exist today.