Claudia Goldstein wins 2013 Joop Witteveen Prize
Johannes van Dam Prize and Joop Witteveen Prize awarded during Gala of the Cookbook
On 17 January, the 2013 Joop Witteveen Prize was given to Claudia Goldstein for her book ‘Pieter Bruegel and the Culture of the Early Modern Dinner Party’. The Joop Witteveen Prize is awarded by the University of Amsterdam to the author of an outstanding publication on the history of food in the Low Countries.
The prize-giving ceremony took place during the Gala of the Cookbook in the Aula of the university. On the same festive occasion the Johannes van Dam Prize, given annually by the University of Amsterdam in recognition of an author’s extraordinary achievements in communicating gastronomical knowledge, was awarded. As has been announced before, that prize was won by Harold McGee, renowned author of books on food chemistry.
Claudia Goldstein, an Associate Professor of Art History at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, is an expert on the art of sixteenth-century Flanders. In 2013 she published Pieter Bruegel and the Culture of the Early Modern Dinner Party. In this book she describes how the taste and social standing of wealthy Antwerp merchants and their families in the sixteenth century were defined by the decoration of their houses, especially of the dining rooms, a new phenomenon in those days. Special attention is given to the paintings with which the dining rooms were embellished.
The jury praised the book of Claudia Goldstein as well written and accessible, and of interest to many kinds of historians. Joop Witteveen: ‘It takes a surprising perspective to present a colourful picture of Antwerp in the sixteenth century, the city’s economic and cultural heyday. In this book gastronomy and its context are used to reflect broader cultural history.’
Harold McGee is an influential author known around the world for his culinary books and articles, some of which have appeared in Nature and The New York Times. He studied at the California Institute of Technology and also earned a degree in English literature at Yale University. Having worked there as a lecturer in writing and literature for a number of years, in 1984 he published On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, which received rave reviews around the world. This title was followed by other successful books about food chemistry. Dutch translations were published by Nieuw Amsterdam.