Paul and Julia Child Exhibit to Open at Napa Valley Museum

Les Trois Gourmandes, (aka “The School of Hearty Eaters”), Julia, Simca, and Louisette, 81 Rue de l’Université, 1953Visit Meadowood Napa Valley for a Wine-Themed Wellness Vacation (Photography by Paul Child © The Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University)

The Napa Valley Museum will open “France is a Feast – The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child” from November 11, 2017 through February 18, 2018. The world premiere exhibit is inspired by and shown in conjunction with the release of the book, France Is a Feast by Paul Child’s great-nephew, Alex Prud’homme, and Katie Pratt, a longtime friend and colleague of Paul and Julia Child, who also curates the museum installation.

The exhibit will include rarely seen photographs by Paul Child from the years 1948 to 1954, during the time he and Julia Child lived in Paris. During this time, Julia Child was unknown to the public. The collection also showcases architecture, street scenes, river scenes, fishermen, cats and more that explore the effects of light and shadow, modernism and abstraction in Paris. 

Through his work as a cultural attaché at the US embassy in Paris and later at the US Consulate in Marseille, Paul met and was influenced by many of the leading photographers of the day including Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Man Ray, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Robert Doisneau and Brassai. Pierre Gassman, the master printer who founded Pictorial Service, developed Child’s images and through him he met and was influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa.

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In addition to photographs, the exhibit features images of the notebooks, logs and letters maintained by Paul that provide a vivid record of his daily life in France, his love of Julia, and his artistry. Paul’s camera and maps as well as different forms of his artwork, including drawings, paintings, stained glass, and personal Valentines will also be available for viewing. 

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