What did Judy Chicago say about Georgia O'Keeffe's influence?
Georgia O'Keeffe's imagery at the table incorporates the flower imagery she used in her paintings. Chicago pays tribute to both O'Keeffe's originality and imagery. She acknowledges O'Keeffe's influence on later feminist artists and claims her work was “pivotal in the development of an authentically female iconography.”
I have a question about "The Dinner Party" and Georgia O'Keeffe. Did she ever respond to the piece? It was made while O'Keeffe was still alive.
O'Keeffe didn't always get along with Second Wave feminists, such as Judy Chicago, who approached her in the 1970s. To O'Keeffe, works like The Dinner Party and the idea of celebrating her role as a "woman painter" went against her personal goals as an artist.
She didn’t want her work to be categorized based on her gender. For much of her career, she struggled to be appreciated for her individual talent rather than her individual identity. O'Keeffe said, "The men liked to put me down as the best woman painter. I think I’m one of the best painters.”
Cool! Thanks so much!
How did Ms. O’Keeffe decided to allow her work be represented at The Dinner Party after her initial refusal?
Ms. O'Keeffe actually never gave her consent to be included in The Dinner Party. Since the place setting is not O'Keeffe's own work, but is meant to be a representation of her Chicago chose to include her anyway.
You're welcome! Chicago felt very strongly that O'Keeffe was an important symbol for women despite O'Keeffe not wanting to categorized according to her gender.
Tell me more.
Georgia O'Keeffe was the only guest at the Dinner Party who was still alive at the time the work was completed in 1979. Each place setting is specific to the woman represented and this one is based on O'Keeffe's paintings.
Judy Chicago created The Dinner Party as a celebration of women in history and their accomplishments. In her own experience, women had been left out of history and she wanted to change that.
Is O’Keeffe’s the most 3D because the plates are inspired by her work?
Hers is the most 3D because it is the final plate in the chronology. However, Judy Chicago was heavily inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe, and included her as the last plate because she represented, for Chicago, "the movement toward women’s increased individual creative expression."
However, O'Keeffe never saw her work as reminiscent of genitals or sexuality, whereas Judy Chicago does. The two had wildly different readings of O'Keeffe's work.
Virginia Woolf and O’Keeffe’s tapestries are plainer than the rest, but with more elaborate plates, was that intentional?
Each plate and runner is tailored to the specific person and their life, so the amount of imagery varies. On Georgia O'Keeffe's place setting, for instance, the runner is meant to resemble a canvas with stretcher strips, so it is relatively simple. The plate, meanwhile, is meant to recall her painting, so it is more complex.
The front of Woolf's runner is simpler, but the back is more decorative. The lighthouse imagery that you see on the back of the runner references her novel, To The Lighthouse.
I didn’t even notice the backs! Thanks!
Can you tell me about this plate dedicated to Georgia O'Keeffe??
The Georgia O'Keeffe plate is a fusion of O'Keeffe's imagery and Judy Chicago's. Chicago has said that, "It is based upon her [O'Keeffe's] famous painting of the iris which has a dark and mysterious center which for me reflects the mystery of life. This image also reiterates the central core in the Primordial Goddess plate and thus links the first plate and the last."
What does it symbolize?
O'Keeffe's plate rises the highest off the table of all the plates in The Dinner Party, and is the most sculptural plate in the whole installation. Beyond O'Keeffe's own accomplishments, this symbolizes "the movement toward women’s increased individual creative expression." O'Keeffe was the only woman represented at the table who was alive at the time The Dinner Party was completed.
Was there a connection between O'Keeffe and Chicago besides just admiration?
While Chicago greatly admired O'Keeffe's work as an artist and a trailblazer, O'Keeffe actually deeply resented being categorized as a "woman artist," she had always wanted to be referred to as an artist, full stop. While working on her autobiography “Through the Flower,” Chicago wrote to O'Keeffe to ask if she could include one of O’Keeffe’s paintings, but O'Keeffe expressed that she did not want to be included in a context that centered on her gender. Judy Chicago replied that O’Keeffe was a trailblazer who was essential to the feminist art movement, and later included her here, at The Dinner Party.
For The Dinner Party, were the plates made at different heights for a specific reason?
Yes, great catch! The plates, each representing a historical or mythical woman of achievement, are placed in a roughly chronological order.
The increasing three-dimensionality over time is a representation of women's increased visibility and participation in society.
You'll notice that the very last plate, that of Georgia O'Keeffe, is the highest off the table. She was the only woman still alive when the Dinner Party was completed and was an inspiration to Judy Chicago.
Is that wood on Saint Bridget's runner?
There isn't any actual wood in Saint Bridget's runner, but parts of it are meant to look like wood as a reference to the first convent she founded which was known as the "Church of the Oak."
There is some wood included in Georgia O'Keeffe's runner as a reference to the stretchers used for painting canvas.
I'm at The Dinner Party and I was wondering what the pieces of wood in Georgia O'Keeffe's panel are meant to represent?
Good eye! There is a piece of wood on either side of the runner. These represent the stretchers of a canvas like the ones O'Keeffe painted on.
The fabric itself is Belgian linen, which was historically used by painters.
Are there any other material additives in The Dinner Party like this one? Or is she the only one?
The place settings for the Primordial Goddess and the Fertile Goddess, who are located just around the corner from O'Keeffe, include different materials such as cowrie shells, miniature sculptures, and an animal hide.
The Amazon place setting has actual metal on the ax-motifs. Sophia's runner is shrouded in a wedding veil that was worn by one of the women who worked in Chicago's workshops making The Dinner Party.
Artemisia Gentileschi's place setting, in the middle of the second table, also features a beautiful piece of cream-colored velvet, very sumptuous.