Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Marie de l'Incarnation

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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

Marie de l'Incarnation
b. 1599, Tours, France; d. 1672, Quebec, Canada

Marie de l'Incarnation (born Marie Guyart) dedicated her life to evangelical work among the Native peoples of Canada. Widowed at the age of twenty, she joined an Ursuline convent in 1633 and sailed for Quebec in 1639. There she built a monastery, established schools for Native children and French girls, and played a major role in the formative years of New France. She learned Native languages, producing French-Algonquin and French-Iroquois dictionaries for the use of her nuns. Her voluminous correspondence with her son and benefactors in France—comprising more than 13,000 letters—is primary source material for the history of the colony.

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