"Fortunate visitors to State Fairs in New York, Minnesota, Iowa and elsewhere never fail to make a pilgrimage to the butter sculptures: the cows, the dairy princesses, the famous athletes, and the rural scenes all rendered in pure, edible, spreadable gold. The spectators point, giggle, and marvel. Pamela H. Simpson does more in this dazzling study of foodstuff display, its history, and meaning. Butter effigies, ‘palaces’ covered in corn or potatoes, maidens made of wheat, and historic fortresses duplicated in apples speak to westward expansion, the birth of visual advertising, our American obsession with scale, and the culture of overabundance, as well as the pride and hopes of the farm. This is the very stuff of history in the making, a series of inventive recipes for national grandeur." —Karal Ann Marling, author of Designs on the Heart: The Homemade Art of Grandma Moses
"Corn Palaces and Butter Queens will be THE book to fully document this sometimes odd but fascinating area of American cultural history, particularly important in the Midwest and Plains as the bread basket of the nation and world." —Colleen Sheehy, author of Seed Queen: The Story of Crop Art and the Amazing Lillian Colton
About the Author
Pamela H. Simpson (1946–2011) was the Ernest Williams II Professor of Art History at Washington and Lee University.