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Smithsonian Affiliations Women’s History Lecture Series: Lena Richard and Julia Child: Two Women Who Changed Culinary History

Join the Museum of Work & Culture, a Smithsonian Affiliate, on Wednesday, March 10 at 7pm for “Lena Richard and Julia Child: Two Women Who Changed Culinary History.”

Through their cookbooks, teaching, and television programs, these extraordinary women inspired generations of people to take cooking seriously. They challenged perceptions and stereotypes of women in their respective eras and made lasting contributions to culinary history. Their stories, reflective of their very different backgrounds, reveal insights about women, race, food, and culture in 20th-century America. The program will feature Paula Johnson, Curator, National Museum of American History and Ashley Rose Young, Historian, National Museum of American History. 

Register by visiting https://bit.ly/3jPmG4x.

This talk is presented as part of the Museum of Work & Culture’s 2021 Francophonie Celebration, a month long series highlighting French language and culture, and is a segment of the Smithsonian Affiliations’ Women’s History Lecture Series.


Paula J. Johnson is a curator and public historian in the Division of Work and Industry at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.  She is responsible for the food technology and marine resources collections and directs the Smithsonian’s Food History Project. Johnson was one of the curators who collected Julia Child’s home kitchen in 2001, and led the team that created the current exhibition, FOOD: Transforming the American Table. She has shaped and contributed to many public programs on food history and has served as a curator for several museum exhibitions. She holds degrees in English (BA) and Folklore/Anthropology (MA), and has published books and articles on the fisheries of the Chesapeake Bay, traditional watercraft, maritime communities, and food and museums.

Dr. Ashley Rose Young is the Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She is the host and historian of “Cooking Up History,” the museum’s cooking demonstration series. She also co-curated the museum’s main food history exhibition, FOOD: Transforming the American Table along with Paula Johnson and other food history team members. She is currently working on two books: an academic manuscript about New Orleans’ street food culture and an historically-informed cookbook about Chef Lena Richard. Young earned a Ph.D. in History from Duke University, an M.A. in History from Duke University, a B.A. in History from Yale University, and was also a visiting scholar at Oxford University.


Mar 10, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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