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Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian


Story 13 [of 18] – Everything Has A History


"…A lot of them were gifts. There’s a little story to most, each one."


While the kitchen is primarily the workspace of a master craftsman, it is also an intensely personalized space where everything that Julia saw and used on a daily basis provoked memory about friends, relationships, events, and places of significance in her life. In many ways, the entire kitchen was a testimony to the memory of Paul Child, who designed the kitchen.


Julia was also surrounded by gifts, memorabilia, artwork from friends and family, and material memories of her life and work. Many of the tools were ones the Childs had begun acquiring together in 1948. They moved from France to the United States to Germany, to France again, to Norway and then to California and Massachussetts.


There was the tomato basket, a "trug" received as a member of a wedding party in southern France; the James Beard champagne stopper; pictures (on the fridge) of her with her cooking show producers and friends receiving awards for their shows, drawings from her nephews on the refrigerator; the teakettle from Norwegian friends; the enameled metal fish from her lawyer and friend. Even the Garland range held stories associated with its purchase. All these, in their daily presence and use, brought memories and stories to the fore.


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