Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative Series: Lena Richard and Julia Child: Two Women Who Changed Culinary History

Through their cookbooks, teaching, and television programs, these extraordinary women inspired generations of people to take cooking seriously. Lena Richard and Julia Child challenged perceptions and stereotypes of women in their respective eras and made lasting contributions to culinary history. Their stories, reflective of their very different backgrounds, reveal insights about women, race, food, and culture in 20th-century America.

WHEN: March 10 | 7:00 PM

This virtual event will be live captioned.

ADMISSION: FREE! | Registration required here
***The Zoom link will be included in your confirmation email.  Check your spam/junk folder if you do not see it within 24 hours of registration.


Paula Johnson, Curator, National Museum of American History
Ashley Rose Young, Historian, National Museum of American History

Snug Harbor brings the Smithsonian to Staten Island with this virtual series of exciting lectures examining the contribution of women throughout history. As a Smithsonian Affiliate in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, the series explores aspects of women in American history and covers topics ranging from African American Women in activism to women’s influence on aeronautics and television.

Paula J. Johnson is a curator and public historian in the Division of Work and Industry at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.  She is responsible for the food technology and marine resources collections and directs the Smithsonian’s Food History Project. Johnson was one of the curators who collected Julia Child’s home kitchen in 2001, and led the team that created the current exhibition, FOOD: Transforming the American Table. She has shaped and contributed to many public programs on food history and has served as a curator for several museum exhibitions. She holds degrees in English (BA) and Folklore/Anthropology (MA), and has published books and articles on the fisheries of the Chesapeake Bay, traditional watercraft, maritime communities, and food and museums.

Dr. Ashley Rose Young is the Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She is the host and historian of “Cooking Up History,” the museum’s cooking demonstration series. She also co-curated the museum’s main food history exhibition, FOOD: Transforming the American Table along with Paula Johnson and other food history team members. She is currently working on two books: an academic manuscript about New Orleans’ street food culture and an historically-informed cookbook about Chef Lena Richard. Young earned a Ph.D. in History from Duke University, an M.A. in History from Duke University, a B.A. in History from Yale University, and was also a visiting scholar at Oxford University.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is a Smithsonian Affiliate organization. This program is supported in part with public funding through the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.