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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

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Book of the Week: Modern Art Desserts



This new series will introduce you to some of the books available at The Cummer Store.  Keep you mind sharp by reading up on interesting topics, many of which relate to our permanent collection or special exhibitions.  Let us know what you think of each book, or share books you think would complement our collection.

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Modern Art Desserts

Caitlin Freeman

Pastry Chef for Blue Bottle Coffee Company

This book was written by a self-taught baker and the former owner of a San Francisco cake and sweet shop Miette, and the current pastry chef for the Blue Bottle Coffee Company.  The original inspiration for this book was the deliciously confectionery paintings of Wayne Thiebaud, a California painter.

Each delicious confection in this stunning cookbook is based on a piece of Modern Art.  The book goes into a detailed description of Freeman’s journey to, as she puts it, becoming the ‘anti-dentist’.  She takes you with her on a journey through becoming a small business owner, her education in business, construction, and pastry, and finally how the idea of bringing together the beautiful art of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and pastry at the Blue Bottle Cafe came to be.  The book includes sketches explaining the process of turning a piece of artwork into a confectionery masterpiece.

Each recipe includes a picture of the dessert, an image and description of the artwork that was its inspiration, a back-story describing the author’s connection to the piece, and a detailed recipe, often including more pictures to help you as you prepare your dessert.

Here are some of the staff favorites:

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A Trio of Thiebaud Cakes, based on Wayne Thiebaud’s Display Cakes, 1963, oil on canvas.

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Warhol Gelee, based on Andy Warhol’s Red Liz, 1963, synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas.

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Kahlo Wedding Cookies, based on Frida Kahlo’s Frieda and Diego Rivera, 1931, oil on canvas.

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Fritsch Ice Cream Sandwich, based on Katharina Fritsch’s Kind mit Pudeln (Child with Poodles), 1995/1996, plaster, foil, polyurethane, and paint.

Mondrian Cake, based on Piet Mondrian's Composition (No. III) with Red, Yellow, and Blue, 1935-42, oil on canvas.

Mondrian Cake, based on Piet Mondrian’s Composition (No. III) with Red, Yellow, and Blue, 1935-42, oil on canvas.


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