A Toast to Judy Chicago: Celebrating the Art of the Dinner Party

The Dinner Party is a feminist artwork created by Judy Chicago in the 1970s. It is a large triangular table with place settings for 39 historical and mythological women, including Virginia Woolf and Sojourner Truth. It aims to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women throughout history.

Feasting with Judy Chicago: An Appreciation of Her Dinner Parties’ Artistry

Dinner Party by Judy Chicago is a large-scale installation artwork that includes a triangular table set for 39 historical and legendary women, as well as a Heritage Floor with the names of 999 more. It is on display in the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art in New York City.

In What Ways Does Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party Represent Feminist And Contemporary Art?

Dinner Party by Judy Chicago is a large-scale installation art project that involves a triangular table with place settings for 39 historical and legendary women. The work depicts feminist art as well as the ongoing struggle for women’s rights and acknowledgment throughout history and society. It is on display in the Brooklyn Museum in New York City.

Feminist art began in the 1960s and 1970s as a reaction to women’s exclusion and marginalization in the art industry. It seeks to challenge and subvert traditional patriarchal ideals of art and representation by creating works that address problems of gender, sexuality, and power explicitly. From conceptual and performance art to painting, sculpture, and installation art, the feminist art movement has created a diverse spectrum of works.

The portrayal of the female body is a prominent theme in feminist art. The feminine form has been employed by artists such as Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, and Barbara Kruger to challenge traditional conceptions of beauty and representation. They have also explored themes formerly deemed taboo in the creative world, such as abortion, birth control, and domestic violence.

The critique of the art world itself is another essential part of feminist art. Artists such as Mary Kelly, Adrian Piper, and Martha Rosler have shown how men dominate the art world and marginalize women. They have also attempted to establish alternate locations for women to show and promote their work.

Throughout history and society, the feminist art movement has been inextricably linked to the ongoing struggle for women’s rights and recognition. During the second wave of feminism, which was characterized by intensive political activism and cultural upheaval, the feminist art movement began. The art created during this time period reflects current political and social issues, such as reproductive rights, economic disparities, and sexual harassment.

Feminist art has remained a major force in modern art in recent years, with artists such as Yoko Ono, Frida Kahlo, and Cindy Sherman receiving international praise for their work. The feminist art movement has also played an important part in creating a space in the art world for women, people of color, and other disadvantaged groups to have their views heard. The struggle for women’s rights and recognition continues, and it is critical to recognize the contributions of feminist art to this movement.

Who Are Some Of The Mythical And Historical Famous Women Honored In This Work?

In a triangular table setting, Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party honors 39 legendary and historical renowned women such as Hypatia, Sojourner Truth, and Virginia Woolf. It is on display in the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art in New York City. It is regarded as a key feminist and contemporary art work. The SFMOMA does not have this piece in their collection.

Hypatia was a 4th century CE philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. She was well-known for her contributions to mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy, and she was among the first women to make important contributions in these subjects. She was also a well-liked teacher and mentor to many of her students. Her execution by a Christian mob is considered as a symbol of the end of the Classical civilization and the start of the Middle Ages.

Sojourner Truth was an African American abolitionist, feminist, and public speaker. She was born into slavery in the late 1800s and escaped to freedom around 1826. Truth rose to prominence as an orator who argued for the abolition of slavery and equal rights for women. Her most famous speech was “Ain’t I a Woman?” ren which she attacked the notion that women’s rights were only for white women.

Virginia Woolf was a British writer who is regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most influential modernist novelists. Her novels, including “Mrs. Dalloway” and “To the Lighthouse,” explore the inner lives of women and challenge conventional norms. Woolf was also a renowned feminist and a member of the Bloomsbury Group, a group of artists and intellectuals who championed progressive social and political concerns.

All three of these women are notable individuals in their areas and have made significant contributions to history. They are also pivotal personalities in the feminist movement, having pushed for women’s rights and questioned cultural conventions and expectations of women. Their names are frequently discussed in discussions of feminist art and history because they have served as role models for many generations of women.

How Does The Dinner Party Celebrate Traditional Female Accomplishments?

Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party is a large-scale installation artwork consisting of a triangular table with place settings for 39 legendary and historical renowned women. It is regarded as a major feminist book that questions women’s absence from historical and cultural narratives. It represents feminist and contemporary art by showcasing the achievements and contributions of women throughout history and by subverting established gender roles through the use of a typical domestic form, the dinner party.

The artwork is now on display as a permanent installation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Chicago’s teaching experience at the California Institute of the Arts inspired her to create the feminist art program, which attempted to include women’s experiences and art into the mainstream art world. The Dinner Party honors the achievements and contributions of women throughout history, such as painters, writers, and political figures, and elevates the domestic realm, typically associated with women, to the level of high art.

What Role Did The Women’s Revolution Play In Inspiring Judy Chicago To Create This Piece?

The Dinner Party, founded in the 1970s by Judy Chicago, was inspired by the Women’s Revolution and attempts to recognize legendary and historical great women as well as traditional female accomplishments. The installation, which can be located at the Brooklyn Museum, consists of a triangular table with place settings for 39 ladies, each setting representing a different historical or mythical character.

The artwork is regarded as a fundamental feminist work that reflects the battle for women’s acknowledgment and representation in art and society. It has been shown in numerous shows and is regarded as a significant work of contemporary art.

Feminist art frequently conveys a social message, highlighting inequities and prejudice encountered by women throughout history and society, and advocating for change and equality. Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party is a prime example, since it commemorates and celebrates the achievements of women throughout history while drawing attention to their lack of representation and acknowledgement.

The Dinner Party honors important personalities such as Hypatia, Sojourner Truth, and Virginia Woolf for their contributions to their respective disciplines. Their names are significant because they symbolize the breadth of women’s achievements and experiences throughout history and across cultures.

How Has The Dinner Party Been Included Within Various Art History Books Over Time?

Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party has been highly debated and included in numerous art history books over the years. It is regarded as a fundamental feminist work and has inspired several scholarly articles, exhibition catalogs, and monographs. The piece has also been shown in a number of exhibitions in the United States and abroad, making it one of the most well-known feminist works of the twentieth century. The Dinner Party is regarded as a landmark work that continues to inspire and influence future generations of artists and art historians.

Judy Chicago’s Books Relevant To The Dinner Party

Judy Chicago has authored various books over her career, some of which are closely related to her most renowned work, The Dinner Party. Here are a few books that you might find interesting:

  1. “The Dinner Party: From Creation to Preservation” – This book offers a thorough guide to the artwork, including a description of the project, the women honored during the dinner party, and the artwork’s design and creation. The book includes images of the artwork as well as reproductions of the designs and sketches used to create the place settings.
  2. “Through the Flower: My Struggle as a Woman Artist” – Chicago’s autobiography takes an in-depth look at her life and career, including her struggles as a woman artist and her participation in the feminist art movement. It also discusses her process of making The Dinner Party, as well as the hurdles and obstacles she encountered while working on the piece.
  3. “Feminism and Art: A Study of California Artists” – This book examines the feminist art movement in California, with a chapter on Chicago and her work included. It discusses The Dinner Party’s conception, as well as its reception and impact on the art world.
  4. “The Birth Project” – This book discusses Judy Chicago’s earlier project, which also had a feminist perspective and similar issues of women’s roles in society; it was a series of large-scale textile artworks intended to honor the power and beauty of birth.

These publications shed light on the making and relevance of The Dinner Party, as well as Chicago’s broader creative and feminist perspective. They are an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the artwork and its significance in the feminist art movement.

Describe The Three Long Tables That Make Up This Artwork, And How They Relate To Universal Female Experiences.?

Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party is a large-scale installation artwork that consists of three triangular-shaped tables assembled to make a triangle. Each table is dedicated to 39 historical and legendary women, with 999 names written on the Heritage Floor. The first table honors goddesses, the second table honors ancient civilization women, and the third table honors medieval and early modern women. Exquisitely embroidered runners, symbolic place settings, and china plates with the butterfly-shaped vulva symbol adorn the tables. The artwork honors women’s achievements throughout history while also highlighting the lack of attention for female contributions in art and society.

A plate, a runner, a napkin, and a chalice are all included in each place setting at The Dinner Party. Each place setting’s centerpiece is a plate embellished with a unique design that honors the woman being honored. The plates’ designs were created using the traditional china-painting process and include images related to the lady being recognized, such as a symbol of her career or a portrayal of a life event.

The runner on which the plate is placed is likewise decorated with a unique design that includes a butterfly or a flower, symbolizing the women’s transformation and growth throughout their lives.

The napkin is folded in the shape of a butterfly, symbolizing the women’s transformation from birth to death.

The chalice represents female innovation and the recognition of women’s accomplishments. Each chalice is one-of-a-kind and embellished with symbols and imagery associated with the woman being honored.

The place settings are important because they represent the ladies being recognized and their accomplishments to society. They serve as a reminder of the necessity of acknowledging women’s accomplishments throughout history, and the artistry and creativity that went into their construction underlines these women’s achievements in their own right.

The Dinner Party is also significant because it is a collaborative artwork; many female artists worked on the plates, runners, napkins, and chalices, as well as the creation and decoration of each place setting, which reflects the theme of the artwork, women’s collaboration and support for one another.

The First Table

The first table is dedicated to goddesses from diverse civilizations and religions, such as Kali, Ishtar, and Aphrodite. In their various cultures, these goddesses are regarded as powerful female figures, and they serve as a reminder of the historical veneration for great women.

The Second Table

The second table commemorates women from past civilizations, such as Hatshepsut, an Egyptian female pharaoh, and Aspasia, a Greek scholar and Pericles’ companion. This section of the table highlights women’s contributions and achievements in ancient societies.

The Third Table

The third table commemorates medieval and early modern women, such as Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th-century German mystic and composer, and Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian painter from the 17th century. This section of the table highlights women’s achievements throughout history, as well as the fact that they are frequently disregarded in standard historical narratives.

How Long Did It Take To Create The Artwork?

It took several years to design the Dinner Party. Judy Chicago started working on the project in 1974, and it was finished and first shown in 1979.

A team of artists, crafters, and volunteers worked together to create the artwork. The artwork’s design and construction were the result of rigorous research, planning, and execution.

The investigation and selection of the women to be honored at the dinner party was one of the first stages of the project. Chicago and her staff spent months researching historical ladies and selecting 39 women to be honored at the dinner party, representing a varied variety of women from ancient civilizations, medieval and early modern periods, through modern times.

The following step was to design and make the place settings, which included plates, runners, napkins, and chalices. The plate was the highlight of each place setting, ornamented with a distinctive design that refers to the woman’s life or profession, and was created to reflect the woman being recognized. The runner, napkin, and chalice were also embellished with one-of-a-kind motifs created with traditional china painting and other creative techniques.

Chicago and her team also designed the triangular table that acts as the foundation for the place settings, which is adorned with a succession of painted images depicting women’s history.

The artwork also includes a number of Winged Victory statues arranged around the table to represent the success of the women celebrated during the dinner party.

The project was a large undertaking that took several years to complete, but it resulted in a monumental feminist artwork that is also a symbolic history of women in Western culture.

How Has The San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art Featured This Artwork In Their Collection?

Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party is a big installation piece that includes a triangular table with place settings for 39 historical and legendary ladies. It is a feminist work that seeks to restore women’s historical and cultural roles. It is permanently on display in the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art in New York City. The artwork has not been featured in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), although it has been exhibited at other museums and institutions throughout the world.

After its initial exhibition in 1979, the Dinner Party artwork went on tour. The artwork was first shown in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, but it immediately attracted international notice and was shown at museums and galleries all around the world.

Between 1979 and 1985, The Dinner Party toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada. It was also shown in Australia and Europe, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy.

Several retrospectives have also been organized, including a travelling retrospective hosted by the Brooklyn Museum in 2007 and a retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2019.

Because of the artwork’s size and fragility, it is not on permanent display, and tour dates and locations are subject to change, but visitors can still see The Dinner Party at exhibitions or at its permanent home at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, where they can learn more about the artwork and the women it honors.

What Was Judy Chicago’s Experience Like At The California Institute Of The Arts?

In the late 1960s, Judy Chicago attended the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where she studied under painters such as Richard Diebenkorn and Robert Irwin. She developed her feminist art practice at CalArts and began work on her classic installation, The Dinner Party. The Dinner Party was developed to praise and celebrate the accomplishments of women throughout history, many of whom had gone unnoticed and underrepresented in art and history. A big triangular table with place settings for 39 legendary and historical notable ladies makes up the sculpture. Since 2007, it has been on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum.

The Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation

The Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. The organization is especially interested in arts assistance and has been involved in a number of projects and initiatives relating to feminist art and the history of women in art.

The Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation purchased the rights to Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party in 2007. Since then, the organization has been in charge of maintaining and publicizing the artwork, which has included staging exhibitions, tours, and educational programs.

One of the foundation’s major endeavors has been the establishment of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. The center houses a permanent installation of The Dinner Party, which is on display at the museum with other feminist artworks and artifacts. Visitors can also use the center as an educational resource, learning about the artwork and its historical context, as well as its significance to the feminist art movement.

The foundation also built a website dedicated to The Dinner Party, DinnerParty.org, which contains an interactive version of the artwork, detailed information about the ladies recognized during the dinner party, and the history and significance of the artwork.

Furthermore, the foundation has organized tours of the artwork, which has been presented in numerous museums and galleries across the world. The tours have been designed to allow guests to experience the artwork in person and learn more about the women recognized at the dinner party, as well as the history and significance of the artwork.

Overall, the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation has played an important role in conserving and promoting The Dinner Party, making it more available to a wider audience and ensuring that it is acknowledged as a key feminist artwork and a symbol of women’s history in Western culture.

Judy Chicago An American Feminist Artist, Author, And Educator

Judy Chicago is a feminist artist, author, and educator from the United States. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1939, and graduated with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1959. She continued her education at the California College of Arts and Crafts, where she received her master’s degree in 1962.

Chicago began working as an art teacher after finishing her degree and also began to develop herself as an artist. She was a member of the 1960s and 1970s feminist art movement, and her work frequently explored topics of gender and identity.

The Dinner Party, considered an important feminist artwork and a symbolic history of women in Western civilisation, is one of her most notable works. The Dinner Party was initially shown in 1979, and it soon attracted international recognition. It has since been shown in museums and galleries all around the world.

Chicago has also authored several books on her art, the feminist art movement, and women’s history, including “Through the Flower: My Struggle as a Woman Artist” and “The Dinner Party: From Creation to Preservation”.

Chicago has been an advocate for feminist art education in addition to her painting and writing. In 1970, she launched the first female art program in the United States at California State University, Fresno, and later the Feminist Studio Workshop in Los Angeles.

Judy Chicago is still active as an artist and author, and her contributions to feminist art and art education are well recognized. She has earned various prizes and medals for her art, including President Barack Obama’s National Medal of Arts in 2014.

Limited Edition Set Of Functional Plates Based On The Dinner Party Designs

Judy Chicago designed a limited edition set of functional plates based on the designs of The Dinner Party in 1980. The Wedgwood Company, a British pottery and porcelain maker, made the plates, which were marketed in a set of 39. Each dish was designed to look like one of the place settings from The Dinner Party, complete with artwork and the name of the woman honored at that table.

The plates were created to make the artwork more accessible to the general public, as well as to allow people to own and use a piece of the artwork in their own homes. The plates were also considered as a way to gather cash for the artwork’s preservation and promotion, as the proceeds from their sale went towards the upkeep and continuous display of The Dinner Party.

The plates were made in a limited edition of 500 sets and sold for a significant premium. They were also accompanied by a book that explained the significance of the artwork and the women recognized during the dinner party.

The plates were in high demand and are now considered collector’s items. They also serve as a reminder of The Dinner Party’s impact and importance as a work of feminist art, as well as how it continues to inspire and educate people. The plates can now be found in museums, private collections, and on the secondary market.

Conclusion And Summary

Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party is a large-scale installation artwork that consists of three long tables placed in a triangle pattern, each having 39 place settings. Each place setting honors a different famous lady from history or mythology, with a distinctive design that symbolizes her achievements and cultural background. The plates are ordered chronologically, beginning with ancient deities and concluding with modern ladies from the twentieth century.

The artwork is intended to honor traditional female accomplishments while also drawing attention to women’s efforts throughout history that have been forgotten or devalued. The artwork expresses the notion that women have always been an important part of human history and culture, and that their contributions should be recognized and celebrated.

Recommended Books On Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party

  1. “Judy Chicago: The Dinner Party: From Creation to Preservation” by Judy Chicago
  2. “The Dinner Party: Judy Chicago and the Power of Popular Feminism, 1970-2007” by Jane F. Gerhard
  3. “Feminism and Art History: Questioning the Litany” by Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard
  4. “The Dinner Party: Judy Chicago and the Feminist Art Movement” by Amelia Jones
  5. “The Dinner Party: Restoring Women to History” by Judy Chicago and Edward Lucie-Smith.


The artwork is composed of thirty-nine place settings arranged in a triangular table, with each place setting representing an important woman from history. The work was created between 1974 and 1979, and has since become a symbol of women’s heritage and the feminist movement.

Chicago’s work challenges the notion of the “pure” aesthetic object, and instead celebrates the achievements and contributions of women throughout history. The work draws on a variety of influences, including Western art, the Roman Empire, Classical Rome, and ancient Greek poet Sappho.

Critics of the work have argued that the hierarchical aspect of the work contradicts feminist principles, and that the artwork is debased sentimentality. However, the work’s popularity has only continued to grow over the years, with over one million people having seen it since it first went on display in 1979.

Each place setting at the table features an intricate, handmade plate, an embroidered table runner, and a chalice. The plates feature images and symbols representing each woman’s accomplishments and contributions. Some of the notable women represented include Saint Bridget, Isabella d’Este, Mary Wollstonecraft, Margaret Sanger, and a Shoshone woman.

The Dinner Party also includes several other works, such as the Entryway Banner, the Flower Archive, and the Butterfly Vagina. Chicago’s work has been featured in a variety of exhibitions and publications, including a three-book exhibition publication and an advertising campaign.

Chicago’s work has been praised for its historical import and its ability to raise consciousness about the contributions of women throughout history. The work has also been criticized for its exclusive focus on Western women, and for not including poor women or women of color. Despite these criticisms, The Dinner Party remains an important feminist artwork and a powerful symbol of women’s heritage.

The installation is currently housed in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. The artwork has been on display at various museums across the United States, including the Art Institute of Chicago, where it was first shown in 1981.

Chicago’s artwork was groundbreaking for its time and continues to be celebrated as an important work of feminist art. It was created in the context of the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s, at a time when women artists were struggling to be recognized in the male-dominated art world. “The Dinner Party” was intended to elevate the techniques and contributions of women artists and to celebrate women’s lives and achievements.

The installation consists of three sections, each one representing a different historical era: the “Primordial Goddess,” the “Christian Era,” and the “Modern Women” section. Each place setting features a china-painted porcelain plate, a runner embroidered with the woman’s name, and a chalice, all placed on a white tile floor with an intricate triangular pattern.

Some of the women featured in “The Dinner Party” include Emily Dickinson, Joan Mitchell, Caroline Herschel, and Alice Walker. The artwork’s expanded research led to the discovery and recognition of many women previously ignored or forgotten by history.

“The Dinner Party” has faced criticism and controversy throughout its history, with some feminists arguing that it primarily celebrates white women and ignores women of color. However, Chicago has responded to this criticism by saying that the artwork was created in the context of the white feminist movement of the 1970s and that she hopes it will inspire future generations of artists to expand and diversify its representations.

“The Dinner Party” was the first museum show to recognize the achievements of women throughout history. Despite initial resistance from the male-dominated art world, the museum’s director recognized the importance of the work and gave it a prominent position in the museum.

Chicago’s use of women’s techniques such as china-painted porcelain plates and needlework, and the white tile floor that represents women’s lives, all contribute to the piece’s woman-centered context. The artwork’s popularity has led to its traveling to many museums and galleries, including the Art Institute of Chicago.

Chicago’s other works, such as “Right Out of History” and “Embroidering Our Heritage,” also explore the feminist perspective and women’s art. She has continued to influence Studio Art Education and the women’s liberation movement, and her work continues to be relevant and influential in the present day.

In addition to “The Dinner Party,” Chicago has created several other significant works, such as “The Last Supper,” which reimagines the iconic Christian image with an all-female cast, and “The Holocaust Project,” which examines the atrocities of the Holocaust and includes preparatory drawings for an Aubusson tapestry.

The work has been featured in several exhibitions and publications, including Esther Allen’s “A Feline Book of Hours” and Henry Hopkins’ “Judy Chicago.” In recent years, curators such as Carmen Hermo have brought attention back to “The Dinner Party” and its historical import, especially in light of the ongoing conversation surrounding erasure in traditional art history.


Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3323429

By Photographed by Arthistorygrrl, CC BY 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33826981

Rabinovitz, L. (1980). Issues of Feminist Aesthetics: Judy Chicago and Joyce Wieland. Woman’s Art Journal, 1(2), 38-41. jstor.org/stable/1358083

Snyder, C. (1980). Reading the Language of” The Dinner Party”. Woman’s Art Journal, 1(2), 30-34. jstor.org/stable/1358081

Gerhard, J. (2011). Judy Chicago and the practice of 1970s feminism. Feminist Studies, 37(3), 591-618.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments