Artfully Done: Food, Flowers & Joy Across Generations brought to you by the Friends of the Wichita Art Museum; By the Wichita Art Museum; editor RoxAnn Banks Dicker
Reviewed by Sarah Bagby
I applaud the Friends of the Wichita Art Museum for elevating the community cookbook to new heights. Artfully Done is a cookbook to celebrate, an elegant volume to satiate your appetite for art history, culinary history, and–as it should be–a very good meal. Inspired by the beloved and missed Carlene Banks, a museum trustee and volunteer, Artfully Done displays more than 500 recipes, and 100 photos in 15 chapters.
The oversized book includes time-tested recipes such as the Hot Chicken Salad, served annually at a local charity event, and Grandma King’s Pie, attributed to the museum director Charles Steiner’s grandmother. Anyone interested in the culinary sensibilities of master sculptor and Wichita native, Tom Otterness, can try his Hot Mama Shrimp. Sidebars on each page are educational, featuring suggested menus, preparation tips, and commentary on the art work.
Finally, artworks for the museum’s diverse collection of paintings, prints, and decorative pieces are skillfully photographed, including Mary Cassatt’s familiar oil painting “Mother and Child”, an iridescent Tiffany lead glass vase, and Philip Reisman’s 1933 tempera “Basement Kitchen,” to name just a few.
Sure to be a favorite, Artfully Done is a gift to the community from the dozens of volunteers who produced a labor of love and a local treasure.
If you would like to purchase this book, please consider ordering from one of the Kansas Center for the Book Affiliates (http://ww.kcfb.info/notable/): Book Kansas!, Claflin Books, Town Crier, Watermark Books.