The Brooklyn Museum is pulling out all stops as it marks the fifth anniversary of its feminist art center. They are commemorating famous women and doing so in many elaborate, intricate and lovely ways. To begin with, the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is using the backdrop of Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” as a focal point. The work includes a vast triangular banquet table, and the museum is using each wing of the triangle to pay tribute to a particular millennium of female achievement.
They’ve chosen 13 women for each part of the triangle, starting from the beginning of time and moving into the 20th century. In addition, they’ve selected 999 other female names that have been inscribed in gold on the tiled floor.
In a fourth wing, there is a section for more contemporary women, as they think about modern women who might have sat alongside great women throughout history. Here, they’ve picked 15 woman who were all first in their fields and they will be honoring them tomorrow with the center’s First Awards ceremony (a first of its kind).
The women include: Sandra Day O’Connor, Toni Morrison, Muriel Siebert, Connie Chung, Wilma Pearl Mankiller and others. As Catherine Morris, curator of the Sackler Center explained,
“The question I often get when giving tours of ‘The Dinner Party’ is ‘who would be there today, who would we add?'”
Elizabeth Sackler’s goal, as the benefactor of the museum, was to raise awareness about feminist art. As Sackler, who donated “The Dinner Party” to the museum, explained
“There is a serious underrepresentation of women and feminist artists in museums and galleries globally. The center’s purpose is not to resolve the use of the word feminism. It is a place where people can come to have dialogues about the meaning of feminism, reminding us of women’s contributions in the past, marking women’s achievements in the present, and inspiring contributions in the future.”