Sweet Series

America the Buttercream: Why We Decorate Our Dessert

Follow the history of pastry and sugar from the late 18th century to today in this public program that will explore the origins of the pastry arts, sugar fancy, and the ties between sugar and architecture. Edward Cabral, multimedia sculptor, chef, and lecturer, will trace the global influences that developed American desserts, and how a decorated sheet cake became a staple at every child’s birthday party. The event will finish with a live demonstration of cake decorating and an overview of cake design and ornamentation before participants eat the cake.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Clamor of Ornament, America the Buttercream is the second installment of a three-part series of public programs that draws inspiration from the works on view and explores one of the most contemporary expressions of ornament–patisserie–through the context of design and history.


    This program is made possible by Hilary and Peter Hatch.

    Major support for The Clamor of Ornament is provided by The Coby Foundation, Ltd., the Director's Circle of The Drawing Center, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Generous funding is provided by Dita Amory, Michèle Gerber Klein, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Sara Story Design, Josh Smith, and Barbara Toll. Additional support is provided by Amy Gold and Brett Gorvy, Isabel Stainow Wilcox, Phyllis Tuchman, Paul Morelli, the Roy and Niuta Titus Foundation, Suzanne Slesin and Michael Steinberg, Adelphi Paper Hangings, LLC, Plain English Design, and Madeline Weinrib. Support for the exhibition catalog is provided by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.