Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education

Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education

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Creator of the celebrated The Dinner Party, a monumental art installation now on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum, Judy Chicago reviews her own art education in the 1960s, when she overcame sexist obstacles to beginning a career as an artist and became recognized as one of the key figures in the dynamic California art scene of that decade. She reviews the present-day situation of young people aspiring to become artists and uncovers the persistence of a bias against women and other minorities in studio art education. Far from a dry educational treatise, Institutional Time is heartfelt and highly personal—a book that has the earmarks of a classic in arts education.

The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, a milestone in twentieth-century art, is the centerpiece around which the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is organized, and a signature highlight of the Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection. 

The Dinner Party comprises a massive ceremonial banquet, arranged on a triangular table with a total of thirty-nine place settings, each commemorating an important woman from history. The names of another 999 women are inscribed in gold on the white tile floor below the triangular table.  A multilayered artwork and triumph of collaborative art-making, The Dinner Party remains a testament to the power of revising Western history to include women.

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