June 18, 2016
Merle Armitage was the Benjamin Franklin of LA modernism. He was an old-fashioned connoisseur and impresario (he facilitated the work of George Gershwin, Henry Miller, Martha Graham and Edward Weston, among others). He collected art. He loved to cook. (And here he is, as drawn by Henrietta Shore.)
But his true love was typography.
When he first met Henry Miller, Miller said,
“I’ve heard you were an author?”
Armitage confessed: “If the truth were to be known, I write books so that I may design them.”
Looking at this cookbook – and these recipes – one can’t help but believe the guy. It’s a beautiful, lovingly-designed book:
He includes these incredible Edward Weston vegetables:
But then we get to the recipes. Candied ginger, mayonnaise, celery – cooked pears? Quite the time capsule.
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