Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Emma Willard

signature image

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

Emma Willard
b. 1787, Berlin, Connecticut; d. 1870, Troy, New York

Emma Willard was an American educator, writer, and pioneer of women's education. In 1814, she founded a girls' boarding school in Middlebury, Vermont, to improve methods of instruction and expand the subject matter traditionally reserved for female students. In 1821, she established the Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York, which she managed successfully for over a decade, and later helped to found a school for female teachers in Athens, Greece. Willard authored numerous textbooks, since translated into dozens of languages, including The Woodbridge and Willard Geographies and Atlases (1823); History of the United States (1828); Universal History in Perspective (1837); and Last Leaves of American History (1849). She traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe to consult with teachers and address educational conventions; she is considered the pioneer of women's higher education in the United States.

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