In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection.
Anne Krohn Graham is a painter, sculptor, and jeweler, who lives and works in Richland, Washington. She earned an M.A. in Art Education and recently retired as Professor of Art and Head of Metals and Jewelry at the University of Delaware, where she taught for 29 years.[i]
Graham designed this silver flatware set, which is composed of a fork, spoon, and knife. While the set was designed in 1978, its aesthetic, characterized by its curvaceous forms and smooth surfaces, is reminiscent of the Art Nouveau style of the early 20th century. The grouping comes with a unique feature: all three pieces of cutlery interlock to facilitate portability: there are slots in the knife handle that hold both the fork and spoon, and the curved fork tines and spoon bowl fit neatly on either side of the knife blade.
In keeping with the theme of portability, this feature also did away with the need for a carrying case to minimize weight and bulk, freeing up valuable space in picnic baskets. Made of sterling silver, this elegant traveling cutlery was meant to be kept and cherished and stood in contrast to disposable plastic flatware that was widely used in the 1970s.[ii]
Zenia Malmer focuses on the intersection of food and design history. She is a volunteer in the Product Design and Decorative Arts Department. @hungry.historian.
[ii] Lupton, Ellen, Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Table, 1500-2005, (New York: Assouline, 2006), 226.