Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Margaret Philipse

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

Margaret Philipse
b. Rhine Valley, Holland, date unknown; d. 1690, New Netherland, North America

In 1659, Margaret Philipse and her merchant husband emigrated from Holland to New Netherland, a Dutch territory on the eastern seaboard of North America centered on New Amsterdam (Manhattan). As permitted under Dutch law, Margaret elected to retain her maiden name, Hardenbrook, by which she became active in mercantile business, representing Dutch merchants trading with New Netherland. When her husband died in 1661, she assumed control of his trading operation and purchased a fleet ship, christened the Margaret. She married Frederick Philipse in 1662. Two years later, England took control of New Netherland. Under English law, women could not own property or participate in business under their own names. Thenceforward, Margaret's business enterprises were conducted under the name of Frederick Philipse.

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