Dinner Party Restoring Women to History
The official publication celebrating Judy Chicago’s feminist art masterpiece, The Dinner Party installation at the Brooklyn Museum, and an introduction to outstanding women in history.
Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party is a defining work of feminist and contemporary art that brought women’s history to light on the national stage when it was completed in 1979. Published to coincide with Chicago’s 75th birthday and a nationwide series of events and exhibitions, the book features newly commissioned photography and two new essays by Chicago, along with essays by art historian Frances Borzello and historian Jane Gerhard, and a foreword from museum director Arnold Lehman.
The Dinner Party, a monumental triangular table, and the Heritage Floor on which the table rests, represents 1,038 women in history—39 by unique large ceramic plates and runners with another 999 names inscribed on the floor’s ceramic tiles. It has been seen by more than a million visitors during its international exhibition tour, and has been a principal destination at the Brooklyn Museum since its permanent housing in 2007. A perfect companion to a revolutionary artwork, the book is a must-have for both long-standing fans of Judy Chicago’s oeuvre and young artists and women looking for reflections of themselves in the history of Western Civilization.
When Judy Chicago's multimedia exhibit The Dinner Party opened in the 1970s, it was hailed "an icon of feminist art" (ARTnews) and was seen by nearly one million people. Now, in a book celebrating the re-opening of the exhibit in Los Angeles later this year, Chicago updates the themes, interpretation, and history of her landmark exhibit.
Organized to mirror the exhibition, each section is divided into four chronological wings, rather than chapters, and includes a short description of the woman represented and a photograph of her plate and place setting. Surrounding the photographs are summaries of the other women whose 999 names are inscribed on the ceramic tile floor (“Heritage Floor”) on which the triangular table rests. Many of the plates photograph well, particularly those for Sappho and Virginia Woolf, and handmade runners are spectacular. In this volume, published to coincide with her 75th birthday, Judy Chicago offers a vibrant visual and textual encyclopedia of female achievement.” —Publishers Weekly
“Serves as a kind of user’s manual to that iconic work of feminist art that once inspired an 87-minute debate in the U.S. House of Representatives over whether it was art or pornography. In this new book, Chicago explains in exquisite detail the art work surrounding the 1,038 women’s names memorialized by The Dinner Party and how the art expresses the fight for women’s rights from antiquity to today.” —Big Think