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The Art and food writing of Maria Kozslik Donovan
chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Donna Brien
While today many Australian food writers are popular and feted celebrities, Australia has many such authors who made a significant contribution to local culinary culture in the past, but whose work is now forgotten. This paper outlines and discusses the place of art and food in the extraordinarily successful career of one such forgotten writer, Maria Kozslik Donovan. A prominent and popular advocate of Continental and Asian cookery in Melbourne in the 1950s and 1960s, Kozslik Donovan wrote and illustrated a series of bestselling cookery books, which went on to be revised and republished, notably without the addition of any photographic imagery, through to the 1980s. Kozslik Donovan successfully juggled her work in these two art forms of drawing and writing with her other roles of wife, mother, columnist for prominent newspaper The Age, cookery teacher and world traveler. In this, Kozslik Donovan’s career trajectory challenges prevailing myths of the mid-twentieth century Australian career woman, while the two components of her creative work – illustration and food writing – and their reception cast light on how now everyday Australian food habits were popularised at this time through art and food writing in the mainstream popular media forms of cookery books, magazines and newspapers.