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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Francesca of Salerno

Flourished 1320s, Salerno, Italy

Francesca (also called Francesca Romana) obtained a doctorate in surgery in 1321 at the medical school in Salerno, which was a training ground for many female physicans in the fourteenth century and had accepted women from its inception. The language used in Francesca’s degree reveals one reason for this enlightened policy: “Whereas the laws permit women to practice medicine, and whereas, from the viewpoint of good morals, women are best adapted to the treatment of their own sex, we, after having received the oath of fidelity, permit the said Francesca to practice the said art of healing” (Allen, Concept of Woman, 431).

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). <em>The Dinner Party</em> (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
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

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