The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art (2007)
The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art opened in dazzling new quarters in the Museum on March 23, 2007. As the first public space of its kind in the country, the center’s mission is to present feminist art and to explore its meaning and influence through a wide range of public programs. Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party (1979), an icon of American art, is at the spatial and symbolic heart of the new 8,300-square-foot facility. Encircled by galleries for changing exhibitions and a space for educational activities, The Dinner Party’s gallery is the centerpiece of a dramatic design conceived and developed by the award-winning architect Susan T. Rodriguez, FAIA, a partner in Polshek Partnership Architects.
The center is notable for its dramatic use of large, canting glass walls to frame The Dinner Party in its own space. In approaching it, the visitor moves through a distinct, yet interconnected, series of gallery experiences that include the Herstory Gallery, other changing-exhibition galleries, and a study center and Forum for gatherings. By placing the large-scale, triangular Dinner Party at the center’s heart, the architect was able to reconcile its monumental scale and triangular shape with the overall rectilinear space of the center.