What's A Panofsky?

Dinner with Panofsky is an endeavor to reteach myself art history. I'm taking a global, thematic approach in addition to a chronological one. One school of thought I'll be drawing on is iconology. Simply put, iconology is the study of the visual symbols (iconography) in a work of art. It's why we think of Christianity when we see a cross and how peaches have come to represent luck and prosperity in Korean culture.

The German art historian, Erwin Panofsky, is credited with creating this methodology for interpreting art. We're having dinner with him because I couldn't come to art history being who I am today and leave food out of it. So Dinner With Panofsky is also a food blog, though not in the traditional sense (no recipes here, though if you are looking for that sort of thing may I point you in the direction my other work here.) Food will be considered when it plays the role of subject, symbol, icon, or influencer. Given food's condition as a basic human need and right and cuisine’s status as manifestations of culture, the conversation that happens in the space where the two meet gives rise to a greater understanding of how we become what we eat, and conversely, how what we eat tells the story of who we are.

On a final note, I had to ask myself why I feel drawn to revisit art history again. Beyond the honest answer of finding it endlessly interesting is something a touch more profound: Art, like cooking, and subsequently cuisine, is a human phenomenon. It's what we do that no other creature does. In exploring it, understanding it, codifying it, and considering the places where they overlap, we are likely to reveal something elemental about our nature, desires, potential, and future. It's a way back to ourselves.