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In the Kitchen

THE KITCHEN is where we typically prepare a meal to eat with friends, family, and other special people in our lives. Have you shared a meal with anyone today? What did you eat?

Let’s Play I Spy

This painting shows us the inside of a kitchen. It might look different from yours! Can you find 3 things that are different? Can you also find 3 things that are the same?

In the Kitchen, before 1932. Frank E. Case (American, 1849–1932). Oil on canvas. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Anonymous gift in memory of Frank Case and Theano Wattles Case, 1956.782

Play a game of I Spy using this painting and your own kitchen as inspiration. Start with these hints:

I spy . . . a four-legged friend. Do any pets like to play in your kitchen?

I spy . . . a place to sit. Where do you sit when you eat?

I spy . . . something that tells time. Where can you find the time in your kitchen?

I spy . . . something warm. How do you usually cook your food?

Now come up with your own hints to see if others can guess what items you found in your kitchen.

Imaginary Feast!

These three objects were used to hold different kinds of food during special ceremonies and celebrations. Use your imagination and draw what food might be inside each container. Take turns sharing your ideas with friends or family members. Did anyone draw the same food? Then put all your drawings together and have an imaginary feast! Share your drawings using #CMAInTheKitchen.

Covered Tureen, 1753. Edward Wakelin (British, active 1730–66). Silver; 24.3 x 40.4 x 22.8 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Bequest of Mrs. Severance A. Millikin, 1989.214.a–b

Tiered Food Box with Stand, late 1700s. Japan, Edo period (1615–1868). Red lacquer over wood core, with litharge painting and engraved gold designs (Ryukyuan); 53 x 68 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund, 1989.5.a–b

Food Container (Gui), 600–500 BC. China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–256 BC), Spring and Autum period (770–476 BC). Bronze; 34.3 x 44.5 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund, 1974.73

Exploring the Senses

Food helps us explore our different senses: taste, smell, sound, appearance, and texture. Look at the painting and pick one piece of food. Write a response to the prompts and read your answers to a family member or friend. Can they guess which food you’re looking at? Next time you sit down to eat, think about how each food tastes, smells, sounds, looks, and feels!

Still Life with Meat, Fish, Vegetables, and Fruit, c. 1615–20. Jacob van Hulsdonck (Flemish, 1582–1647). Oil on panel, the reverse prepared with gesso; 71.5 x 104 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, 2018

I taste                     . (What do you think your food tastes like? Bitter, salty, delicious? You choose!)

I smell                     . (What do you think your food smells like? Fishy, sweet, fresh?)

I hear                     . (What kind of sound do you think your food makes? Crunch, slurp, splat?)

I see                     . (What color or shape best describes your food?)

I feel                     . (What do you think your food feels like? Warm, cold, bumpy? Describe it!)

Extra Challenge

Food art is the art of preparing food in a creative way. Some chefs are inspired by designs and patterns found in art. Take a look at the CMA’s Collection Online and find an artwork with an interesting pattern. Using the object as inspiration, prepare a snack for you and your family. Take a picture before you eat. Share your design and the CMA object using #CMAFoodArt.


Let’s Play I Spy: In the Kitchen, before 1932. Frank E. Case (American, 1849–1932). Oil on canvas. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Anonymous gift in memory of Frank Case and Theano Wattles Case, 1956.782

Imaginary Feast!: Covered Tureen, 1753. Edward Wakelin (British, active 1730–66). Silver; 24.3 x 40.4 x 22.8 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Bequest of Mrs. Severance A. Millikin, 1989.214.a–b

Tiered Food Box with Stand, late 1700s. Japan, Edo period (1615–1868). Red lacquer over wood core, with litharge painting and engraved gold designs (Ryukyuan); 53 x 68 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund, 1989.5.a–b

Food Container (Gui), 600–500 BC. China, Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–256 BC), Spring and Autum period (770–476 BC). Bronze; 34.3 x 44.5 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund, 1974.73

Exploring the Senses: Still Life with Meat, Fish, Vegetables, and Fruit, c. 1615–20. Jacob van Hulsdonck (Flemish, 1582–1647). Oil on panel, the reverse prepared with gesso; 71.5 x 104 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, 2018.258