Elgin museum-goers can get eyeful of food photos from Mexico
By Janelle Walker For the Courier-News March 22, 2013 1:42PM
Elgin Public Museum Director Peggy Stromberg views a display from “De La Cocina al Ojo” or From the Kitchen to the Eye, a collection of photographs, printed on canvas, of scenes from the kitchens and dining tables of Mexico. Janelle Walker for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 26, 2013 6:10AM
ELGIN — Meals can be as visual an experience as they are a taste — and 100-year-old photos now on display at the Elgin Public Museum are an example of that.
“De La Cocina al Ojo” or From the Kitchen to the Eye, is a collection of photographs, printed on canvas, of scenes from the kitchens and dining tables of Mexico, explained Peggy Stromberg, museum director. The display is on loan from the Mexican Consulate in Chicago.
“This is the third one we have had from them. We are good friends with them,” Stromberg said.
That relationship started a few years ago, she explained.
“We had a call from them ... saying they heard that we did Mexican exhibits from time to time, and they had one” Elgin might like. Her immediate response was “yes,” Stromberg said.
With cuts to the museum’s budget, she’s had to be creative while looking for low- or no-cost traveling exhibits, Stromberg said.
Other Mexican-themed exhibits have included photos of landscapes, again from the consulate; and a chocolate exhibit the museum rented from the Field Museum, Stromberg said.
“In a town with a Mexican population like this one … it is part of our duty to ensure all cultures in our community is represented,” Stromberg said.
Part of what she likes about the exhibit is its breadth, she said. “It has outdoor and indoor pictures, pictures of poor and rich people — a wide variety of photography.”
Stromberg continues to seek out new traveling exhibits, and said she’d be happy to work with other organizations and consulates to bring displays honoring other cultures and countries to Elgin.
“Only the Mexicans have been responsive,” to requests, she said. “However I would be more than happy to take an exhibit from another cultural institutions. We don’t have the money to develop any of our own.”
For more, visit www.elginpublicmuseum.org.