HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Julia Child's Kitchen Exhibit at Smithsonian

The bad news is that the Julia Child's Kitchen exhibit closes this week-end. The good news is that a larger exhibit for American food culture since the 1940's is planned for this summer.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For "Julia-philes" it will NOT be the same.... Just sayin'...

    1. aw man! That is just not cool. I mean, the museum of American History is my least favorite of the Smithsonians, but seeing her kitchen and whatnot was really cool for me! I knew that her counters were specially made for her height, but I didn't really comprehend how much difference two inches makes! I am 5'5" and I couldn't imagine using them!

      1. Reminds me of the time back in the 1960s when there was a fire at the WGBH studios in Boston, and for a while Julia broadcast her show from a kitchen set up in a temporary studio at Boston's Museum of Science. I belonged to the Science Explorers club there as a kid, and once they took us to watch her do a live broadcast. We were kept behind a glass wall - we could hear her on monitor speakers, and she could see but not hear us.

        1. One thing I found interesting about Julia's kitchen and her later shows is that they rolled in a portable stove top with butcher block into her kitchen so she and Jacques Pepin and others could do television production from her home kitchen.

          1 Reply
          1. re: John E.

            Her introduction to "In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs" explains the whole process. It's kind of interesting.

          2. When I was growing up, my mother hung her pot lids and bigger cooking utensils -- whisks, spatulas, etc. -- on a pegboard next to our wall oven. It never, ever occurred to me where she got that idea until I saw Julia's kitchen at the Smithsonian :)

            1. too bad, but it WAS just a TV show "Within These Walls" is a much better exhibit. maybe the Smith should take over the MLK library (since DC has been talking about moving) and do an American Pop Culture History museum for this sort of thing.

              4 Replies
              1. re: hill food

                And perhaps we should close down the Folger Library while we're at it. After all, all Shakespeare did was write plays for public consumption - the pop culture of his day.

                1. re: rockycat

                  uhh the District has been talking about closing MLK for years and in its current state (single pane windows etc.) it is not capable of archival storage. so yes let's just trash the first earnest memorial to King and maybe get an office building. a branch of the Cooper-Hewittt/Renwick arm of the Smithsonian makes a lot of sense.

                  I'm sorry if I stepped on Julia's friends big toes. I thought it was a good idea to re-use a building that is terminally on the verge of being dumped and maintain an exhibit that people like.

                  yes better it ends up in a warehouse in MD for the next 20 years.

                2. re: hill food

                  Uhm...no, it was Julia Child's ACTUAL kitchen from the Cambridge, Massachusetts house. Her early TV shows were done on a set, her later shows were taped out of her home kitchen.

                  1. re: John E.

                    oh I understand that, I just also think creating an arm devoted to such things might be a cool idea and since DC has been planning moving the Central Library anyway it would be a good re-use. being right by AAM/NPG and no new room on the Mall anyway. I mean (and this is going way OT for CH) movie and TV show memorabilia might have a better home than the AHM. sounds better to me than sitting tagged and boxed in Landover.

                    and the real kitchen is interesting as she WAS one tall drink of water, no?

                3. I wish it would go on tour. I'd like to see it in NY at the Museum of the Moving Image.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sloth

                    that would be an appropriate venue.