The items in this online exhibition evoke the stories of American women through the ages.
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Julia and Paul Child Valentine’s Day portrait, 1958

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute


Julia McWilliams met Paul Child in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) while working for the Office of Strategic Services. They married in 1946 and spent the postwar years in Paris, where Paul worked for the US Information Agency, and Julia learned to cook. Not until many years later, after the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961) and while living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, did Julia Child become the titular French Chef. Paul devoted himself to her career as “resident manager” of her television shows.

Paul was an accomplished photographer, artist, and chronicler of their life together. He created annual Valentine’s Day cards to send to family and friends, sharing their exuberance and love for life with others. This was their 1958 Valentine’s Day portrait.

Photo by Paul Child, Julia Child Papers, Schlesinger Library

Catalog record:


Learn more:

Learn more about Julia Child.

Read the Harvard Gazette story about the Schlesinger Library's collection.

See the Schlesinger Library's research guide to Julia Child.

The following six videos feature highlights from the Schlesinger Library's holdings.

Julia Child's collection of 5,000 cookbooks:

Timing episodes of The French Chef with a stopwatch:

Paul Child's sketch for the set of The French Chef:

Julia Child's rejection letter from Houghton Mifflin:

Julia Child and Chef Max Bugnard stuffing a bird:

Julia and Paul Child in Lopaus Point, Maine:

Watch all four segments, below, of a symposium held at the Radcliffe Institute in 2012 to celebrate the legacy of Julia Child on the centenary year of her birth:

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