Whether an opponent or advocate of Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party, there is no denying the historical importance of the piece. Even though its' creation was only some 30 years ago, it is already seen as a feminist icon in western culture. The historical importance, to women and western culture, is intangible. When researching this piece, I found some questions intriguing, such as Is this piece a work of art or a study of history?' And is it a symbol and if so, what for?' My paper will discuss these questions along with the criticism of Judy Chicago's, The Dinner Party. But first, I would like to give some background information on The Dinner Party and Judy Chicago.
Judy Chicago did not set out to be a feminist. In fact, she was an opponent, stating that, "most female artists were not taken seriously as a result of their own lack of commitment to their careers, and because many of the art classes demanded the use of power tools and skills not traditionally taught to women. In California, She was the first woman to obtain a permit to use flares in her artwork. After not getting the recognition she wanted, she began to research other women's struggle. Chicago went from one extreme to the next.
The Dinner Party was initially named The Great Ladies, but once she took the idea further and evolved the project into the theme of The Last Supper, the named changed. "Although the design and all images used in The Dinner Party were created and monitored exclusively by Chicago, over four hundred volunteers and skilled assistants came to aid in the overall production and exhibition of the work (Walker 27).
IS THIS PIECE A WORK OF ART OR A STUDY OF HISTORY?
Obviously the reason behind the creation of the project is to contribute to the history of women in art, since there hasn't been much in the past (walker). Chicago says that, "the installation is not a piece of art but a massive study project that develops awareness" (Koplos). I see the piece as both, a work...
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