Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Bettina von Arnim

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Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Bettina von Arnim
b. 1785, Frankfurt, Germany; d. 1859, Berlin

German Romantic author and social activist Bettina von Armin was a central figure in Berlin literary circles. Her most famous works are the edited records of her correspondence with Goethe, including Goethes Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde (Goethe's Correspondence with a Child, 1835). A proponent of the emancipation of women and sympathetic to socialism, she explored political and social questions in Dies Buch gehört dem König (This Book Belongs to the King, 1843), Armenbuch (Book of the Poor, 1845), and Gespräche mit Dämonen (Conversations with Demons, 1852). She was also a talented sculptor and musician. Her daughters, Gisela, Armgart, and Maximilia, hosted the exclusively female salon called the Kaffeterkreis (Coffee Circle), in which members explored the literary possibilities of the fairy tale.

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