Chicago, Judy

Chicago, Judy (Judy Gerowitz Chicago) gĕrˈəwĭtsˌ, shĭkäˈgō, –kôˈ– [key], 1939–, American artist, b. Chicago as Judy Cohen, grad. Univ. of California, Los Angeles (B.A. 1962, M.A. 1964). A feminist and founder of the Women's Art Education collective, she works in a variety of media, including such historically female crafts as needlework and china painting. Her best-known work, The Dinner Party (1974–78; Brooklyn Mus. of Art), is a multimedia installation executed in conjunction with 400 craftswomen. An iconic feminist work, it consists of a triangular table with 48-ft (15-m) sides, set with 39 vulva-shaped place settings, each symbolizing a historically significant woman; beneath them are runners embroidered with designs and 999 lesser known women's names. Subjects explored in her later projects have included childbirth, women's perception of men, the Holocaust, and the end of life.

See her autobiographical Through the Flower (1975, rev. ed. 1982) and Beyond the Flower (1996) and her The Dinner Party: From Creation to Preservation (2007); biography by G. Levin (2007).

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