Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Simone de Beauvoir

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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

Simone de Beauvoir
b. 1908, Paris; d. 1986, Paris

Along with Martin Heidegger, Albert Camus, and her longtime partner Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir was an originator of existentialism. At age twenty-one, she was the youngest student ever to earn an agrégation degree in philosophy from the Sorbonne in Paris. A prolific author, Beauvoir explored ethics, feminism, and politics in essays and books; she also wrote fiction and an autobiography. She received the prestigious French award for literature, the Prix Goncourt, for her novel The Mandarins (1954). Her best-known work, Le deuxième sexe (The Second Sex, 1949), is a foundational feminist text.

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