The Dinner Party: Judy Chicago and the Power of Popular Feminism, 1970-2007 by Jane GerhardThe Dinner Party: Judy Chicago and the Power of Popular Feminism, 1970-2007 by Jane Gerhard

The Dinner Party: Judy Chicago and the Power of Popular Feminism, 1970-2007

byJane Gerhard

Paperback | June 1, 2013

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Judy Chicago's monumental art installation The Dinner Party was an immediate sensation when it debuted in 1979, and today it is considered the most popular work of art to emerge from the second-wave feminist movement. Jane F. Gerhard examines the piece's popularity to understand how ideas about feminism migrated from activist and intellectual circles into the American mainstream in the last three decades of the twentieth century.

More than most social movements, feminism was transmitted and understood through culture-art installations, Ms. Magazine, All in the Family, and thousands of other cultural artifacts. But the phenomenon of cultural feminism came under extraordinary criticism in the late 1970s and 1980s Gerhard analyzes these divisions over whether cultural feminism was sufficiently activist in light of the shifting line separating liberalism from radicalism in post-1970s America. She concludes with a chapter on the 1990s, when The Dinner Party emerged as a target in political struggles over public funding for the arts, even as academic feminists denounced the piece for its alleged essentialism.

The path that The Dinner Party traveled-from inception (1973) to completion (1979) to tour (1979-1989) to the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum (2007)-sheds light on the history of American feminism since 1970 and on the ways popular feminism in particular can illuminate important trends and transformations in the broader culture.

JANE F. GERHARD is coauthor of Women and the Making of America and author of Desiring Revolution: Second-Wave Feminism and the Rewriting of American Sexual Thought, 1920-1982.
Title:The Dinner Party: Judy Chicago and the Power of Popular Feminism, 1970-2007Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9 × 6.02 × 0.85 inPublished:June 1, 2013Publisher:University Of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820344575

ISBN - 13:9780820344577


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Toward a Cultural History of The Dinner Party 1

Making Feminist Artists: The Feminist Art Programs of Fresno and CalArts, 1970- 1972 21

Making Feminist Art: Womanhouse and the Feminist Art Movement, 1972- 1974 48

The Studio as a Feminist Space: Practicing Feminism at The Dinner Party, 1975- 1979 76

Joining Forces: Making Art and History at The Dinner Party, 1975- 1979 109

Going Public: The Dinner Party in San Francisco, 1979 149

The Tour That Very Nearly Wasn't: The Dinner Party's Alternative Showings, 1980- 1983 180

Debating Feminist Art: The Dinner Party in Published and Unpublished Commentary, 1979- 1989 211

Eight From Controversy to Canonization: The Dinner Party in the Culture Wars, 1990- 2007 246

A Prehistory of Postfeminism 283

Notes 291
Index 333

Editorial Reviews

Clearly written, incredibly well researched, and balanced in its analysis, Jane Gerhard’s retelling of the genesis of what is arguably the single most important work of feminist art and culture since its production provides readers with a detailed glimpse inside the coming to, and coming after of, Judy Chicago’s, The Dinner Party. - Jenna Danchuk - Journal of American Culture