What's Cooking? Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian
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crates in the gallery

Crates containing the kitchen await unpacking in the exhibit gallery.

Kitchen Cataloging Project
Bon Appetit!

What's Cooking? documents the nearly year-long process of acquiring and processing the contents of Julia Child's kitchen. From its huge cabinets to the smallest vegetable peeler, the kitchen comprises more than 1,200 individual items, and many people were needed to make sure that all the parts and pieces were properly documented and handled.

For about six months, Museum curators, collections managers, designers, photographers, educators, and historians worked in a Museum gallery to unpack more than fifty crates and boxes containing everything that was in Child's Cambridge, Massachusetts, kitchen, from her six-burner range to the knives and pots and pans, and, yes, even the kitchen sink.

We photographed, described, numbered, measured, and cataloged each object into our computerized database, then arranged and stored the pieces, all in view of the public. Out of sight, we made plans for Bon Appétit! Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian, a new exhibition featuring a reconstruction of the entire kitchen as it existed when Julia Child cooked in it.

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