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 Arts & Culture Food Issue 47 Object Matters An itemized history of the menu. Food Issue 40 Chow Mein & Jello An ode to the buffet. Food Issue 35 Modern Fancy The humble origins of high-end food. Arts & Culture Food Issue 34 Last Supper What to eat at a funeral. Food Sanchez A taste of Mexico in Denmark. Food City Guide Chulwha From nature to table—via the grill: A new private dining experience in Seoul.