Harold Edgerton, Milk Drop Coronet, 1957 There’s ample food for thought in Feast for the Eyes, a study of the evolution of food photography. From the familiar simplicity of a boiled egg perched in a porcelain eggcup, to the elegant (if outmoded) spreads featured in women’s lifestyle magazines from the ’40s, more than 300 photos have been curated to reveal food photography’s changing presence in our lives. For author Susan Bright, the food captured in the photos does more than simply look appealing, although it often does that, too. Rather, it serves to document a society through its rituals, many of which center around eating. “Photographs of food are rarely just about food,” she writes. “They hold our lives and time up to the light.” As the book reveals, humans’ relationship to food can range from the joy of a celebratory meal together to the disordered self-harm outlined in Cindy Sherman’s work from the ’80s. The way we eat—and our compulsion to document it—bears witness to food’s profound significance, both on a personal level and within a wider societal framework. As Susan explains, “It carries our desires and fantasies; it can stand in for sex, be a signal of status, or engage in our politics, betraying our attitudes about immigration, domestic issues, the environment, animal rights, and travel.” TwitterFacebookPinterest Jo Ann Callis, Black Table Cloth, 1979 Imogen Cunningham, Five Eggs, 1951 Related Stories Food Issue 19 My Kitchen Table: Dominique Crenn French-born chef Dominique Crenn knows how to keep a level head and relishes the nights when she gets to cook to her own soundtrack. Food Issue 19 Recipe: Chamomile Cookies When your day is filled with too much excitement, taking time to sit quietly with these calming morsels and a cup of tea could be just the antidote. Fashion Issue 19 The Heat of the Moment Wide eyes, tense muscles, goose-bumped skin and sweat-dotted brows. Fashion Issue 19 This Tall to Ride Amusement parks offer us a taste of danger as sweet as cotton candy. Food Issue 19 The Spicy Menu Nothing gets our hearts racing and noses running like a healthy dose of heat, but chile isn’t the only ingredient that gets our blood pumping. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.