Home The Dinner Party
The Dinner Party by Marie-Laurence Cossette
In a world where female artists are a rare
treat, it is particularly interesting and enriching to discover successful
artists who have paved the way for others through their view of the artistic
world as well as through their artistic achievements. This is exactly what Judy
Chicago did throughout her long lasting career, by living life through her art,
not being scared of innovating and redefining the rules of her field. In fact,
not only did she create art, but she also wrote books, all on the topic of art,
tangled with her ideas and strong beliefs. She also left a mark by teaching,
spreading her strong desire of forging a well deserved place for women in
society. Still, she is mostly known for her art which has made her one of the
most influential feminist artist of her time. She very quickly became an icon
throughout the world of art and feminist thinking, thus changing the art world
in the 1970’s, which lead other women artists to free themselves from the
limitations of art, which she wanted to overcome.
She made it her duty to pave the way for
other women artists, all in the hopes of making it easier for them to attain a
higher level of recognition and thus obtain exposure. It is in that mindset and
through a desire of putting women who have changed our world on a sort of
pedestal that Chicago created The Dinner
Party, a work of art that is now a long-term installation at the Brooklyn
The Dinner Party, created between 1974 and 1979, portrays, through its
plates, linens and cloths of all shapes and colours, a multitude of women who
all, in their own way, changed the world. All place settings are constructed of
one plate, one table cloth, a glass, utensils and decorations which were chosen
in order to represent the women portrayed.
piece was in itself created and set for 39 guests, all chosen with the objective
of honouring 39
women and therefore to recognize the impact they had on the history
of Western Civilisation.
Still, the art work does not only pay
tribute to these 39 women; in fact, it was also meant to pay tribute to a total
of 1 038 important women who have all, in their own way, made a difference
and thus set an example for the women to come after them.
The names of the 999 other women were
actually placed around the piece’s structure in order to commemorate the
importance of women in society, and their lives not to be forgotten, making it
that much more interesting and full of meaning.
By creating this piece, Judy Chicago not
only allowed younger girls to discover these women who paved the way for them,
but she also made this piece of history available by having the piece travel to
6 countries, therefore having it being viewed by over one million of art lovers
around the world.
This piece in itself represents the fact
that one can do a lot of good to a large amount of people. By creating The
Dinner Party, Chicago not only gave a new voice to the women portrayed, but
also helped maintain other women’s voice. I would say that, in a way, it
represents a small step for women, but a big step for feminism.