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Judy Chicago
The Dinner Party at the Brooklyn Museum of Art
A few weeks ago, I visited the Brooklyn Museum too see the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit. Before entering the exhibit, I noticed the signs for Judy Chicago’s permanent installation, The Dinner Party. I couldn’t believe it; I didn’t know that it was housed permanently anywhere. I’ve known of this piece of work since I was young, but had never seen it in person.

Presented in 1979, the exhibit consists of a large triangle table with thirty-nine seats for mythically and historically significant women. Each place setting has a table runner, napkin, utensils, glass, and plate all crafted by hand. The plates and table runners are uniquely designed for the women they honor. The table runners were executed in the needlework of the time and region in which each woman lived. The china plates, stylized vulvas representative of each woman and the period of time that they made their mark upon history.

In addition to the honored thirty-nine women, nine hundred and ninety-nine other women are recognized as well. Their names are inscribed in gold on the white tile floor, on which the table sits.

The Dinner Party is a labor of love, taking six years to produce and having as many as four hundred contributors (mostly women, but some men too.) It’s intention to celebrate celebrate women’s heritage in creative culture.

Permanently residing at the Brooklyn Museum, if you are near, I definitely recommend an afternoon to see this amazing piece of work.


Table setting with a table cloth, plates, and wine glasses set up in a triangle.


The three sides of the triangle shaped table honor women from different periods of time.  Prehistory to the Roman Empire, the beginnings of Christianity to the Reformation, and The American Revolution to feminism.


Table setting with a table cloth, plates, and wine glasses.

  The Primordial Goddess is the first place setting on the table.


Black and white photo of a woman painting in an art studio.

 Judy in her china painting studio, The Needlework Loft.

Black and white photo of women painting text on a triangle sculpture.

Volunteers work on the 999 names inscribed on the Heritage Floor.

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