Munoz 1 Marlon Munoz Prof. Hugo Fernandez

Marlon Munoz
Prof. Hugo Fernandez
Art in NY-195.1386
May 8, 2007
Essay Review#3: Brooklyn Museum: The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago
The name of the exhibition was The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago. It took place
at the Brooklyn Museum located at 200 Eastern Parkway in the New York City borough
of Brooklyn is the second largest art museum in New York City, and one of the largest in
the United States. Moreover, the theme of the Dinner Party was the depiction of 39
mythical and historical famous women throughout history. The Dinner Party was
designed as followed. The table is triangular and measures forty-eight feet on each side.
Each place setting features a placemat / tablecloth with the woman's name and artworks
relating to the woman's life, along with a napkin, utensils, glass / goblet, and a plate. The
plates all feature a butterfly- or flower-like sculpture, representing the woman's vulva.
"The Dinner Party elevates female achievement in Western history to a heroic scale
traditionally reserved for men. The Dinner Party celebrates traditional female
accomplishments such as weaving, china painting, embroidery, and sewing which have
historically been framed as craft or domestic art. The white floor of triangular porcelain
tiles is inscribed with the names of 999 other notable women. This is one of the major
works of Judy Chicago. Judy Chicago born Judy Cohen in July 20, 1939 is a feminist
artist, author and educator. Judy C. is a feminist artist who has been making work since
the middle 1960s. Her earliest forays into art-making coincided with the rise of
Minimalism, which she eventually abandoned in favor of art she believed to have greater
content and relevancy. Therefore, at Dinner Party you might find important women such
as Christine de Pisan, considered the first professional female, Sophia, a spiritual
representation of female wisdom and Emily Dickinson an American lyric poet. Each of
these women represent three periods of history which are: prehistory to the Roman
Empire, the beginnings of Christianity to the Reformation and from the American’s to the
women’s revolution.
First, Sophia was a central element in their cosmological understanding of the
Universe. A Feminine figure, analogous to the human soul but also simultaneously one of
the Feminine aspects of God and the Bride of Christ, she is considered to have fallen
from grace in some way, in so doing creating or helping to create the material world.
Sophia falls under the prehistory to the Roman Empire period. It plays an important role
at the Dinner Party because Sophia is also a spiritual representation of female wisdom.
Another important name on the table was Christine de Pisan. She was born in
1364 and died 1430. She was considered the first professional female author in France,
she wrote photo-feminist works, including a book about a mythical city populated by the
greatest women of history. Also, she was a writer and analyst of the medieval era who
strongly challenged the clerical misogyny and stereotypes that were prevalent in the
male-dominated realm of the arts. De Pisan completed forty-one pieces during her thirtyyear career. She earned her accolade as Europe’s first professional woman writer. Her
success stems from a wide range of innovative writing and rhetorical techniques that
critically challenged renowned male writers such as Jean de Meun who, to Pisan’s
dismay, incorporated misogynist beliefs within their literary works. Christine de Pisan
falls under the beginning of Christianity to the Reformation period and she is considered
a feminist of her time.
Lastly, Emily Dickinson was an American poet. Though virtually unknown in her
lifetime, Dickinson has come to be regarded, along with Walt Whitman, as one of the two
quintessential American poets of the 19th century. Dickinson lived an introverted and
hermetic life. Although she wrote, at the last count, 1,789 poems, only a handful of them
were published during her lifetime. All of these were published anonymously and some
may have been published without her knowledge. Even though she lived during the
Victorian - era which the difficulties escalated for women because of the vision of the
"ideal woman" shared by most in the society.
As we can see, the names of every women engraved on the table cloth have a
great meaning for the feminist movement. In addition, the message send by this
exhibition is that women have persevered under rough periods in which most of the time
women had been oppressed and deprived their rights.