Interpreting Food at Museums and Historic Sites

By (author) Michelle Moon

Publication date:

19 November 2015

Length of book:

220 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442257207

Food is such a friendly topic that it’s often thought of as a “hook” for engaging visitors – a familiar way into other topics, or a sensory element to round out a living history interpretation. But it’s more than just a hook – it’s a topic all its own, with its own history and its own uncertain future, deserving of a central place in historic interpretation. With audiences more interested in food than ever before, and new research in food studies bringing interdisciplinary approaches to this complicated but compelling subject, museums and historic sites have an opportunity to draw new audiences and infuse new meaning into their food presentations.

You’ll find:

  • A comprehensive, thematic framework of key concepts that will help you contextualize food history interpretations;
  • A concise, evaluative review of the historiography of food interpretation;
  • Case studies featuring the expression of these themes in the real world of museum interpretation; and
  • Best practices for interpreting food.

Interpreting Food at Museums and Historic Sites offers a framework for understanding the big ideas in food history, suggesting best practices for linking objects, exhibits and demonstrations with the larger story of change in food production and consumption over the past two centuries – a story in which your visitors can see themselves, and explore their own relationships to food. This book can help you develop food interpretation with depth and significance, making relevant connections to contemporary issues and visitor interests.
Food is the tie that binds together people across history and cultures. It tells the story of both cultures and individuals. Museum visitors understand this and consistently gravitate towards exhibits and interpretive activities highlighting food and in evaluations consistently mention it as one of the most memorable of museum experiences. Michelle Moon's Interpreting Food at Museums and Historic Sites combines a lively history of food and society with practical suggestions on how to create programs that inform and engage museum-goers of all ages. Moon's book deserves a place in both the personal and professional libraries of all history museum professionals.