Friday, May 11, 2012

Biography of Judy Chicago: The Artist of Decades

Judy Chicago was born Judith Sylvia Cohen on July 20, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois.  She is an artist, author, feminist, educator, and intellectual whose influential career reached many over the course of fifty years, according to the New York Times.  Chicago has created numerous art pieces as well as organizations to further spread the awareness of feminism and what it means to be a feminist.  Her creative mind and imagination has led her to become one of the most well-known feminist artists.

In the early seventies after a decade of professional art practice, Chicago pioneered Feminist Art and art education through a unique program for women at California State University, Fresno, called the WomanHouse Project.  Her female students learned the meaning of what feminist art was and how to incorporate into everyday life, according to the Through the Flower organization, created by Chicago.  Since her primary work was that of studio work, she created her most recognized piece, The Dinner Party, which she began creating in 1974.  Her focus and attention to the subject of women's history led to the idea of the Dinner Party, according to the New York Times.  The Dinner Party was planned and carried out between 1974 and 1979 with the help of numerous volunteers.  This creation was the talk of many articles and art history books everywhere.

One year later, after The Dinner Party success, she began working on the Birth Project.  This project, which took place between 1980 and 1985, was a series of birth and creation images for needlework and was aided by 150 skilled needle workers around the country, according to Through the Flower organization.  The Birth Project was shown in over 100 locations, and exhibited the shared methods and a similar joining of concept and media that characterized The Dinner Party.  The Birth Project received a lot of media attention like The Dinner Party, but now resides and is currently exhibited in the Albuquerque Museum in Mexico, according to the New York Times .

Chicago did many other projects during the early 1990s.  She created the Holocaust Project: From Darkness to Light in 1993, which is a series of images integrating Chicago’s painting with the photography of Donald Woodman, as well as works in stained glass and tapestry designed by Chicago and created by skilled artisans, according to Through the Flower organization.  This work was completed in 2001.  She also created Resolutions: A Stitch in Time in 1994, which was her last collaborative project.  Resolutions combines painting and needlework in a series of "exquisitely crafted and inspiring images", which reinterpret traditional proverbs, according to the New York Times. This work was completed in June of 2000 and was shown a the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, New York.

She has received many educational degrees.  She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1962 and obtained a Bachelor of Arts.  She continued her education by attending Graduate School in which she received a Masters of Art in 1964 from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Over the next thirty to forty years, she acquired Honorary Doctorates in Fine Arts from Russel Sage College, Smith College, and Duke University, as well as in Humane Letters from Lehigh University and Hebrew Union College, all according to

As a result of her work, she has become a symbol for people everywhere, known and respected as an artist, writer, teacher, and humanist whose work and life are models for an enriched definition of art, an important and distinct role for the artist, and women’s right to freedom of expression, according to Through the Flower organization.  She has continued to show that expression through art has so many benefits in regards to showing one's emotions freely and continuing to seek that comfort and passion that art brings.


Dixler, Elsa. "A Place at the Table." The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 Mar. 2007. Web. 13 May 2012. <>

"Judy Chicago." Biography of Judy Chicago. 2012. Web. 13 May 2012.    

"Through the Flower - Judy Chicago." Through the Flower - Judy Chicago Biography. 2012. Web. 13 May 2012. <>

By: Corey Lee

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