A view of the Gropius House kitchen. Courtesy Historic New England. Used on this site with their permission.
A view of the Gropius House kitchen. Courtesy Historic New England. Used on this site with their permission.

THE AMERICA’S KITCHENS EXHIBITION profiles the sleek, black and white kitchen and pantry designed by Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius for his 1938 Massachusetts home. According to curator and co-author Nancy Carlisle, the adjoining galley spaces are “models of efficiency” that function almost as “laboratories.” They contained the latest appliances, including a General Electric dishwasher and garbage disposal. The kitchen and pantry, in the rear of the house, worked well when the family employed a cook. But when Mrs. Gropius took over the meal preparation, she found it difficult to interact with family members or guests. Consequently, Mr. Gropius would often spend time with his wife there, assisting by loading the dishwasher or simply sitting and chatting while she worked.

Erica Donnis is an independent historian and museum consultant based in Burlington, Vermont. This is her third vignette taking a look at America’s Kitchens – both the book and the traveling national exhibit. Find out more about the Gropius House, which is now owned by Historic New England, here.

  1. gavin hastings says:

    Now that is my idea of a kitchen! A real 1930’s workspace, easy to clean-a room with a purpose.
    I can think of nothing worse than eating a meal with a view of the impending clean-up ahead. My own kitchen measures no more than 8×8, and I can see it advertised as for “the servantless household” when new; 1939.

    The only addition I plan is a swinging French door to REALLY separate it from the public areas.

  2. gavin hastings says:

    sorry everyone..spel-chek doesn’t help with grammar and sentence phrasing! What began as an attempt to correct “Ever try to entertain with a kitchen fliied with people? ” went structurally wrong….

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