The art exhibit with bite

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William J. McCloskey’s “Wrapped Oranges”, 1889, oil on canvas

William J. McCloskey’s “Wrapped Oranges”, 1889, oil on canvas

Just how true is the saying, “You are what you eat?” To the art world, it is uncannily accurate. Food has a long history of being appreciated by society, and art that references the culinary world often reflects deeper meanings about society as a whole. Through May 18, the Amon Carter Museum offers an in-depth look at the meanings and interpretations of eating in America with the exhibition “Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture and Cuisine.” Organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, “Art and Appetite” takes a unique approach to the relationship with food as expressed in art by delving deep to reveal the cultural significance of the works. Among the show’s 65 paintings from the 18th century to the 20th — depicting oranges, sandwiches, strawberries, a juicy steak — are emblematic works by Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol. The works are organized chronologically, allowing you to see the evolution of the nation’s beliefs and ideals. The works not only celebrate the pleasures of dining but also critique society by relating to political, cultural and social issues. These images capture a wide range of American history: the debates over temperance, the rise of restaurant and café culture and the Pop Art revolution of the 1960s. It’s a lot to dig into. Here’s hoping your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Through May 18. 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-738-1933; cartermuseum.org  —Courtney Spalten

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