Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Frances Power Cobbe

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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

Frances Power Cobbe
b. 1822, Dublin; d. 1904, Hengwrt, Wales

Frances Power Cobbe, feminist journalist and pioneer of animal rights activism, founded two major groups: first, in 1875, the Society for the Protection of Animals Liable to Vivisection (SPALV), the first organization to campaign against animal experiments; and second, in 1898, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV). Both groups remain active today. She published on animal rights issues in London newspapers along with editorial columns and books on domestic violence, women's suffrage, and property rights—including An Essay on Intuitive Morals (1855), Darwinism in Morals (1872), and The Duties of Women (1881)—establishing herself as one of the foremost protagonists for the emancipation of women. Cobbe's article "Wife Torture in England" (1878) ensured passage of a parliamentary bill that allowed for women's legal separation from abusive husbands. "The part of my work for women … to which I look back with most satisfaction," she stated in her autobiography, "was that in which I laboured to obtain protection for unhappy wives, beaten, mangled, mutilated or trampled on by brutal husbands" (Cobbe, Life, p. 592).

Related Place Setting

Susan B. Anthony

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Baroness of Adlersparre
Gunda Beeg
Annie Wood Besant
Alice Stone Blackwell
Barbara Bodichon
Frederika Bremer
Minna Canth
Carrie Chapman Catt
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Millicent Fawcett
Augusta Fickert
Margarete Forchhammer
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Vida Goldstein
Hasta Hansteen
Amelia Holst
Aletta Jacobs
Annie Kenney
Eliska Krasnohorska
Mary Lee
Bertha Lutz
Constance Lytton
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Mary Mueller
Carrie Nation
Caroline Norton
Luise Otto-Peter
Christabel Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst
Sylvia Pankhurst
Kallirhoe Parren
Alice Paul
Annie Smith Peck
Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence
Adelheip Popp
Kathe Schirmacher
Augusta Schmidt
Katherine Sheppard
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Lucy Stone
Mary Church Terrell
Alexandra van Grippenberg
Frances Willard
Victoria Woodhull
Frances Wright

Primary Sources

Cobbe, Frances Power. Life of Frances Power Cobbe as Told by Herself. London: S. Sonnenschein, 1904.