By Kerry Cue
Because men have a history, it is difficult for them to imagine what it is like to grow up without one,
or the sense of personal expansion that comes from discovering that we women have a worthy heritage.
Along with pride often comes rage – rage that one has been deprived of such a significant knowledge.
Judy Chicago, Good Reads
Artists never grow old because …
there’s no use-by date for passion.
Judy Chicago is a celebrated artist – There are 7 retrospective shows celebrating her work across America this year alone – who, at 74, shows no sign of slowing down.
Not only is Chicago a Sibyl, her life’s work has been dedicated to showing how women’s voices have been silenced throughout history and, this of course, includes the Sibyls.
Chicago’s best-known and most loved work is The Dinner Party. It consists of 39 place settings each representing a woman neglected by history. The vulvar and butterfly shaped ceramic place settings celebrate forgotten (female) goddesses, philosophers, priests, writers, doctors, painters, explorers, and rulers. The triangular table sits on a Heritage Floor, which contains the names of a further 999 women throughout history, who have made a significant contribution to bettering women’s’ lives.
A new book by Chicago, The Dinner Party: Restoring Women to History (with a foreword by Arnold L. Lehman and contributions by Jane F. Gerhard) was also published this year.
The book not only looks an iconic feminist artwork, it highlights the fight feminists faced in the 1970s. The Dinner Party, for instance, once inspired aN 87-minute debate in the U.S. House of Representatives over whether it was art or pornography. You will find more information about Chicago’s fascinating art in the article Why Judy Chicago Still Fights for Feminist Art at 75 by Bob Duggan at Big Think.
We the Sibyls salute Judy Chicago.
Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)