At the time Nickolas Muray was working, America was coming out of World War II and the New Deal. Food was not available in abundance and it was surrounded with propaganda. Muray, a Hungarian émigré who had been mixing in avant-garde circles in Europe, brought with him a vision to represent the fantasy of American life, as well as technical skill he learned from publishing houses in Germany. When he was hired by Mccall’s magazine to produce food spreads for its homemaking and cooking pages, he printed with a threecolor process that we now recognize as Technicolor. His images were bright, fresh, and luminous, and they represented a land of plenty—a bountiful and idealized America, freed from food restrictions and hardships. His tables are epic and laden. Glasses of iced tea jostle for room with an orange-and-glacécherry-topped ham; a basket of bread sits among flowers, salad, dessert, and condiments. This is not food to eat, but food to be looked at and dreamed about.