"In Childhood Pleasures, Barnes and Rose reveal the wonder of being a child in the seventeenth-century Netherlands and remind us of the basic human connections that exist between that distant world and ours."—Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., National Gallery of Art
"Food historians seek images to enhance our understanding of the texts we study. The authors are to be congratulated for seeking out such illuminating records of children’s pleasures. They simultaneously increase our knowledge and our delight."—Barbara Ketcham Wheaton, author of Savoring the Past: The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789
"A fascinating look at children’s pleasures in the seventeenth-century Netherlands. Outstanding!"—Martha Dickinson Shattuck, New Netherland Research Center
Seventeenth-century Netherlands is a time and place that inspires our imagination. This maritime country conjures up images of windmills and dikes, picturesque farms, bustling cities, and harbors filled with ships returning home from far-away lands, their holds packed with spices. The small country enjoyed vibrant economic growth and a remarkably tolerant society that welcomed people of all religious backgrounds. The enormous legacy of this period of the Dutch republic, which artists, writers, and poets celebrated as its Golden Age, has enriched all our lives. As historians search for a fuller understanding of its unique character, they continually return to the central role of the family.
Children are an essential part of the story, because how they were raised and taught, how they played, and what they ate and drank offer fundamental insights into Dutch lives. The images in the book are organized around eight themes: Infancy; St. Nicholas: Bringer of Sweets and Toys; Celebrations and Music; Toys and Games; Animals as Pets and Companions; Inventing Fun, Games, and Mischief; Shopping for Food Treats; and Winter Activities: Outdoors. A recipe chapter provides inspiration for cooking projects, allowing children to prepare tastes of the past. Through words and images, we learn that while some pleasures enjoyed by Dutch youngsters 400 years ago have changed, some have remained the same and are sources of fun and excitement for children today.
Donna R. Barnes is professor of education at Hofstra University. She has lectured on Dutch art and daily life at the Amsterdam Museum, the Rembrandt House Museum, and the Center for the Study of the Golden Age at the University of Amsterdam. She has curated seven exhibits of seventeenth-century art in the United States and the Netherlands.
Food historian Peter G. Rose is the author of seven books including The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World and Food, Drink, and Celebrations of the Hudson Valley Dutch, and she is coauthor with Donna R. Barnes of Matters of Taste: Food and Drink in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art and Life. She lectures nationally and internationally on the subject of the Dutch influence on the American kitchen.
7 x 10, 194 pages, 64 color illustrations