"Judy Chicago says that even at 67 her early struggles as a female
artist remain fresh. So, yes, seeing "The Dinner Party" in its
permanent home — a luminous new gallery at the Brooklyn Museum,
expressly designed for her provocative installation of plates —
qualifies as progress after 33 years. But Ms. Chicago is not
"The "women on the table" — Ms. Chicago also calls them "the girls" —
are 39 place settings, each representing a historical female figure.
They begin in ancient civilization (Ishtar of Mesopotamia, the Hindu
goddess Kali) and proceed through Western history (Eleanor of
Aquitaine, Elizabeth I) to Sojourner Truth, Virginia Woolf and Georgia
O'Keeffe. The plates are anchored by elaborate runners decorated with
symbolic details, like hand-tanned animal skins for Sacajawea, who
traveled with the Lewis and Clark expedition, a papoose on her back."