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Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz is a former Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. He has published on the design work of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, and is a regular contributor to ABR.

Christopher Menz reviews 'My Umbrian Kitchen' by Patrizia Simone

December 2012–January 2013, no. 347 27 November 2012
My Umbrian Kitchen – part memoir, part recipe book – reflects the Umbrian-Australian life of its author, Italian-born Patrizia Simone, who, with her husband, opened her first restaurant in Bright in north-eastern Victoria twenty-six years ago. This publication draws on her wealth of experience in the kitchen, decades of cooking, and the rich culinary heritage of her native Umbria. We follow Si ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'The Cookbook Library: Four Centuries of the Cooks, Writers, and Recipes That Made the Modern Cookbook' by Anne Willan, Mark Cherniavsky, and Kyri Claflin

October 2012, no. 345 25 September 2012
The Cookbook Library is an eminently readable and informative survey of the development of European (and North American) culinary literature from antiquity until the early nineteenth century, from Greek and Roman texts to Antonin Carême. The project, inspired by Anne Willan and Mark Cherniavsky’s extensive personal cookbook library, draws on Willan’s considerable professional cookery expertis ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Unexpected Pleasures: The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery' edited by Susan Cohn

July–August 2012, no. 343 09 July 2012
The contemporary jewellery movement grew from a desire among postwar practitioners to explore both the expressive qualities in jewellery and the use of non-traditional materials. The move away from traditional gold and diamonds was partly economic – consider today’s price of gold – and partly ideological. Jewellery should be appreciated for what it is, on its own terms, not for its carats. ... (read more)

Annie Smithers: Annie's Garden to Table; and Guy Grossi: Recipes From My Mother's Kitchen

May 2012, no. 341 23 April 2012
Christopher Menz   Anyone who has dined at Annie Smithers’ eponymous restaurant in the picturesque town of Kyneton, eighty-five kilometres north-west of Melbourne, or read her food columns in TheAge, will understand her commitment to growing, sourcing, cooking, and presenting the best available local produce. She achieves this with a simplicity that belies the care and hard work needed to ... (read more)

'A welcome extension to the National Gallery of Australia' by Christopher Menz

November 2010, no. 326 16 November 2011
The initial idea was for a new front door at the National Gallery of Australia. At least that is how Ron Radford, director of the Gallery, presented it to the one thousand or so guests in his remarks at the official opening of Andrew Andersons’ and PTW Architects’ Stage One ‘New Look’ at the NGA on Thursday, 30 September. Clearly, for the money involved and time taken it is much more than ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Victorian Visions: Nineteenth-Century Art from the John Schaeffer Collection' by Richard Beresford

November 2010, no. 326 15 November 2011
For an Australian collector to have amassed one substantial and internationally recognised collection of Victorian art during the late twentieth century is unusual. Having parted with the first and replaced it with a second, amassed in the twenty-first, is extraordinary. But then John Schaeffer – whose second collection was the subject of a catalogue and recent exhibition at the Art Gallery of N ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Heysen to Heysen: Selected Letters of Hans Heysen and Nora Heysen' edited by Catherine Speck

November 2011, no. 336 24 October 2011
A thirty-year correspondence between two Australian artists is notable, but when the artists are father and daughter it is doubly interesting. Hans Heysen and Nora Heysen corresponded regularly throughout their lives: Hans writing from The Cedars, the family house near Hahndorf, in the Adelaide Hills; and Nora from Sydney, London, New Guinea, Pacific Islands, or wherever she happened to be. Hans H ... (read more)

Teresa Oates and Angela Villella: Mangia! Mangia!; and Nouha Taouk: Whispers from a Lebanese Kitchen

July–August 2011, no. 333 29 June 2011
Tutti a tavola Christopher Menz   Cookery books by immigrants or their descendants on the food of their homelands form a rich sub-genre of migration literature. Several books have been published in recent decades that celebrate the food of Greek, French, Chinese, and German immigrants. Clearly, old food habits die hard. Even when other aspects of an immigrant’s culture have long been aba ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Ars Sacra: Christian Art and Architecture of the Western World from the Very Beginning up Until Today' edited by Rolf Toman and Thomas Paffen

December 2010–January 2011, no. 327 08 June 2011
Who says printed books are dead and that the e-book is the future? Ars Sacra, weighing in at eleven kilos, with eight hundred pages and two thousand colour images, sets a new standard for the coffee-table book. While an iPad version would be lighter and not require a reinforced table, justice can only be done to this large-format book in printed form. Spanning late antiquity to the present, Ars Sa ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Percy Lindsay: Artist & Bohemian' by Silas Clifford-Smith

June 2011, no. 332 24 May 2011
Percy Lindsay was the eldest and least well-known of the remarkable Lindsay brothers (the others were Norman, Lionel, and Darryl). He was born at Creswick, Victoria, in 1870, where he received his initial artistic training before moving to Melbourne in 1895. It was there that year that he first exhibited paintings, in a group show that included such luminaries as David Davies, E. Phillips Fox, and ... (read more)