New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1977. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's white wire spiral binding, photo-illustrated stiff card covers.
First edition of MoMA's lively collection of recipes by leading art world figures of the 1970s, inscribed by Louise Bourgeois to Bruce Barton: "To Bruce / with love / Louise / Dec 77." Barton, a mainstay of the NYC arts scene, was a founding board member of Artists Talk on Art (ATOA), the downtown public discussion series. In April '77, he moderated a panel on "The Downtown Art Scene: A Quarter Century Ago," which featured Bourgeois as one of the speakers. The recipes gathered in the Cookbook – by the likes of Romare Bearden, Bourgeois, Christo and Jean-Claude, Alex Katz, Elaine and Willem De Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Alice Neel, Andy Warhol, and 21 others – range from the austere (Warhol's inevitable Campbell's tomato soup) to the downhome (Red Grooms's sweet-potato pie), the decadent (Dali's timbale "Elysée Lasserre") to the outright fanciful (Roy Lichtenstein's "primordial soup"). A black-and-white photo and brief interview conducted by the editors accompany each artist's contributions. Bourgeois, reminiscing about cooking for her father during her childhood in France, says, "I was told...that cooking is the way to a man's heart. Today I know that notion is absurd, but I believed it for a very long time... During my student years I did not cook at all. The memory of those wasted hours lingered. I subsisted on yogurt, honey, and pumpernickel bread. I still eat the same foods today." She confesses, however, that she loves to cook for big groups of friends, after the art galleries have closed and before a late night out in Greenwich Village: "When my guests arrive I do it in the nicest way I can. I serve the blanquette of veal, freshly steamed vegetables, and white wine. Later on we go to Reno Sweeney's, the Bottom Line, or the Galaxy for jazz." Bourgeois notably went on to contribute recipes to two other, similarly themed cookbooks – Food Sex Art: The Starving Artists' Cookbook (1991) and The Artist's Palate: Cooking with the World's Greatest Artists (2003), a testament to her enduring sense of the interconnectedness of cooking and artistic practice. With an index. Inscribed by Bourgeois in red marker to half-title. Light shelfwear and minor creasing to card covers. Near fine. Item #613