Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Marie Duges

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

Marie Duges
b. 1730, France; d. 1797, Paris

Marie Dugés was chief of midwives from 1775 to 1797 at the Hôtel-Dieu in Paris. The hospital, serving the poor and indigent, was notorious for its unsanitary conditions. Dugés instituted reforms in the maternity ward, taught her craft to the other midwives, and wrote instructional manuals on delivery practices. She was a key figure in making the Hôtel-Dieu into an important center for the teaching of midwifery and passed on her skills to her daughter, Marie la Chapelle.

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