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Women and the Historical Narrative

"My work is all about overcoming erasure and ensuring that women’s achievements become a permanent part of our cultural history." – Judy Chicago

From her earliest awakenings as a feminist artist, Judy Chicago has stressed the importance of steeping oneself in feminist history. Her masterwork, The Dinner Party, addressed head-on the neglect of Western female historical figures — such as 18th century feminist author Mary Wollstonecraft — and included detailed research on hundreds of women figures. Chicago has written extensively about the necessity of understanding what challenges women before us have overcome to bring forth their writing, art, science and other accomplishments. This mirrored her own experience of exploration in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Chicago, described as an “incessant reader,” began to educate herself on the contemporary feminist movement and its antecedents. She became one of the first artists to place women’s history at the center of her work.