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.