In Womanhouse (1972), Judy Chicago and artist Miriam Schapiro, with more than 20 of their California Institute of the Arts Feminist Art Program students and local artists, transformed an abandoned mansion into a house filled with artistic representations of women’s domestic experiences. Chicago and Schapiro saw Womanhouse as a way to embolden young women artists and provide an opportunity for them to move to a new level of art work. The women replaced broken windows, engaged in electrical work, refinished floors and took on other hard labor. The house included 21 feminist installations such as “Bridal Staircase,” “Nightmare Bathroom,” “Eggs to Breasts,” and “Leah’s Room from Collette’s Cherie.” “Womanhouse opened the way for new subject matter, new techniques, new ideas and a new way of looking at art,” Chicago later recalled. It was the first major installation of female-centered artwork, and has maintained a lasting, international impact. In fact, a 2017 return to the work, entitled Womenhouse, included contributions from Chicago and many other accomplished artists.
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