Cliveden's Living Kitchens

Cliveden of the National Trust



Cliveden’s historic 1959 kitchen. Photo courtesy of Cliveden of the National Trust.


Audiences take in Liberty To Go To See, 2015, at Cliveden’s Main House, an interactive dramatic event based on the Chew Family Papers, produced by the New Freedom Theatre and featuring a script created through a year-long partnership between Cliveden and the Philadelphia Young Playwrights.


The main building at Cliveden, constructed 1763–67. Courtesy of Cliveden.


Architectural archaeology of Cliveden’s historic 1767 kitchen. Photo courtesy of Cliveden of the National Trust.

Cliveden of the National Trust will undertake a historical interpretation project that will compare domestic life in two centuries through the exploration of the 1767 and 1959 kitchens inside Cliveden's historic Germantown mansion, revealing how architecture, design, and the technology of the times defined the experiences of those enslaved and in service and their relationships with the household's family. Living Kitchens aims to reorient how audiences understand Cliveden's history by shifting the focus of the house museum from the high-style Georgian country estate of the Chew family to the service buildings. Interpretive material will allow audiences to compare and contrast the evolving design of the spaces, while learning about the stories of those who worked inside the kitchens during two centuries. The project will be complemented by a series of public programs, including a community-curated exhibition of household items, and "Kitchen Conversations" led by expert scholars who will share ongoing research and invite community input during the planning process.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.