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April 18: The Dinner Party in Brooklyn

April 18, 2013

JudyChicagoNYTThe Brooklyn Museum acquired Judy Chicago’s monumental feminist artwork, “The Dinner Party,” on this date in 2002. First exhibited in 1979, the piece consists of place settings for 39 mythical and historical women (including two Jews, the biblical Judith and astronomer Caroline Herschel). On the Heritage Floor beneath the triangular dinner table are handmade tiles inscribed with the names of 999 more women. Many of the 39 dinner plates feature vagina/vulva imagery, which was one of the artworks several “controversial” features when it was first unveiled. Collectively created under Chicago’s supervision, “The Dinner Party” took six years to complete and was intended to restore to world history some number of the many, many influential women who have been excluded from the record or otherwise marginalized.

“I am trying to make art that relates to the deepest and most mythic concerns of human kind and I believe that, at this moment of history, feminism is humanism.” —Judy Chicao (Judith Sylvia Cohen)