These images were included in one of my first artist books, IF WISHES WERE DISHES, that was part of the Photo Works show at the Abecedarian Gallery in Denver, in 2013.

My summer of 2011 was spent doing an interpretation internship with the National Park Service at Fire Island, on the Atlantic coast of New York State. The primary mission of that internship was to write, illustrate, and use InDesign to make a booklet of creative projects for park visitors. (My final draft of that can be downloaded from this site, it’s the Fire Island Draft Junior Ranger Booklet.) On weekends I visited Philadelphia and New York City and photographed some of their historic buildings.

In 2012, I used elements of those photographs taken in New York City and Philadelphia to create imaginary place backdrops for a series of digital collages images of 19th century ladies proudly showing off dishes of food. In reality, 19th century photographs and paintings don’t show ladies presenting food, partly for technical reasons, partly because that was an era when wealthy and middle class women aspired to manage households with several servants, not to be cooks.

The food images were adapted from chromolithograph illustrations found in cookbooks published in the 19th century. The ladies were created by collaging portions of illustrations found in multiple books published in the 19th century. The sky portions of the backdrops were adapted from my photographs of sunrises and sunsets, most of which were taken in Washington State.

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