Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Hannah Arendt

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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

Hannah Arendt
b. 1906, Linden, Germany; d. 1975, New York

Political theorist Hannah Arendt is often described as a philosopher, a label that she herself rejected because of its narrow focus on "man" singular, instead of all of mankind and their collective actions. Her theories regarding power, politics, authority, freedom, and totalitarianism are detailed in books such as The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) and, arguably her most influential work, The Human Condition (1958). As a Jew, she was forced to flee Germany for Paris in 1933, and then Paris for New York in 1941. Having enjoyed friendships with a number of influential European intellectuals, including Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, and Walter Benjamin, Arendt went on to a successful career in academia in the United States. She served in various capacities at a number of universities and was the first woman to be appointed a full professor at Princeton, in 1959.

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