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History Dinner Party

A brief history of how dinner parties became a symbol of black joy From A'Lelia Walker to Bevy Smith, black women have often used these gatherings as a way to inspire and connect. Ask Angus #40: Dinner Party with History February 9, 2018 Angus McMahan. Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the.

I wrote this post in 2016, but it got buried in my folder of planned posts. I honestly don’t even remember where I got the idea. I think it was a writing prompt in a group I attended at the time. Anyway, I’ve cleaned it up and updated it to put it up now.

Prompt: If you could invite any four people, living or dead, to dinner, who would you invite?

To start off, there are two people I think I would definitely invite to my dinner party. Leviticus qindepthonline lutheran bible study guide.

Number 1: Michael Faraday. Possibly the greatest experimental scientist of all time, Faraday discovered the principles underlying most of our modern electrified society, including advancing the electric motor, inventing the electric generator, a bunch of discoveries in chemistry and optics, and helping to discover the laws of electromagnetism, all without the benefit of a math degree. He’s my favorite scientist because of all these achievements and because of his devout faith.

Number 2: Elon Musk. Musk was more on top of his game in 2016 than he is now, but I still think he’d be worth talking to. After all, even with his current troubles, he’s basically the real-life Tony Stark. He has rockets, electric cars, solar panels, batteries, and the Hyperloop (as skeptical as I am about that). That’s just plain cool.

After those first two, it gets a bit harder. I could pick more scientists. Nikola Tesla would be just plain cool. Richard Feynman or Neil deGrasse Tyson (the latter of whom I’ve had the privilege to meet in person) would both be the life of the party, I’m sure, but I’ve already got Faraday for a famous scientist, and I feel like I should consider other options before committing to more.


Jesus or any number of other Biblical or religious figures in history would certainly be good choices, but they’re not exactly my go-to dinner guests. I’d be much more interested in having a long conversation with one of them one on one.

I should probably address the fact that most of my possible picks are likely to be white men, and I might want to branch out from that, but for a party this small (and with what will ultimately become a definite theme), it’s hard to make that the primary factor. It’s an unfortunate fact of history that the large majority of (for example) major scientific discoveries were made by white men. If I were inviting ten people, I would absolutely write a more diverse guest list, but with only four, I’m focusing mainly on putting together an interesting cast of personalities who would work well together, and I have a different direction in mind for that.

Another category I haven’t mentioned is important political or historical figures. Ordinarily, I might pick James Madison or Abraham Lincoln from that group, but since I’ve already got two scientists/inventors, I think there’s a better option who would be a good fit with them—would mesh with the interesting personalities.

Number 3: Benjamin Franklin. Founding father, inventor, early abolitionist, newsman, and more. And if his reputation is anything to go by, he would probably be the life of the party, too.

History Of The Dinner Party

For the last one, I have all the same considerations as before, and the choice isn’t any easier, but this time, I want to go in a different direction. One thing I’ve imagined along these lines is bringing someone from the ancient world to the present. I think that would work with the people I’ve already picked, but I need to choose the right one. They would need to be someone we could dazzle with our modern science and technology, but I also want them to be someone who would have a chance at actually understanding it. And I think there’s only one choice for that.

Number 4: Archimedes of Syracuse. Greek mathematician, inventor, and designer of advanced weaponry. (Plus we could settle once and for all whether or not his Death Ray really worked.)

So, that’s my historical dinner party. It did wind up being four famous scientists and inventors, but I think it would be a very interesting combination. What are your choices? Leave a comment if you have your own opinions.

The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party is a monumental work of art that employs numerous media including ceramics, china-painting, and an array of needle and fiber techniques, to honor the history of women in Western civilization.

  • A milestone, multi-media installation created by Judy Chicago and hundreds of volunteers between 1974 and 1979.
  • A symbolic history of women in Western civilization which has toured around the world to fifteen sites, six countries and a viewing audience of over one million people.
  • In March 2007 this icon of twentieth-century art was permanently housed in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY.

About The Dinner Party

Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party elevates female achievement in Western history to a heroic scale traditionally reserved for men. The Dinner Party is a massive ceremonial banquet in art, laid on a triangular table measuring 48 feet on each side. Combining the glory of sacramental tradition with the intimate detail of a carefully orchestrated social gathering, the artist represents 39 “guests of honor” by individually symbolic, larger-than-life-size china-painted porcelain plates rising from intricate textiles draped completely over the tabletops. Each plate features an image based on the butterfly, symbolic of a vaginal central core. The runners name the 39 women and contain images drawn from each one’s story, executed in the needlework style of the time in which each woman lived.

Vivid imagery on the runner backs is visible only across the span of a gleaming porcelain floor that undulates with the gilded names of 999 women who prefigured and supported the towering figures on the table. The Dinner Party is introduced by six Aubusson tapestry banners which convey fragments from a poem by Judy Chicago, offering the dream of a more just world. The variety of details worked into the art would be overwhelming but for the powerful simplicity of the triangular form, holding a host of particulars in its equilateral embrace.

World History Dinner Party Project

The Beginning of The Dinner Party

The multiplicity of lives alluded to in The Dinner Party would be impossible to take in except for one overarching fact communicated throughout the art: all these remarkable human beings were female. In the 21st century, for the Western world, the existence of women of achievement is not big news. But in 1979 (when The Dinner Party premiered), it was paradigm-shattering.

When Judy Chicago began thinking about The Dinner Party in the late 1960s, there were no women’s studies programs, no women in history courses, no seminaries teaching about the female principle in religion, and scarcely any women leading churches. There were no exhibitions, books, or courses surveying women in art. Not one woman appeared in the standard art history college textbook by H.W. Janson. There was no biography in English of Frida Kahlo and the music of Hildegarde of Bingen had not been heard for centuries.

Dinner Party Pictures

It was more than news. It was a major challenge to academic and artistic tradition that the subject matter of women’s achievements was adequate for a monumental work of art. Developing this subject matter; expressing it traditionally on a heroic scale in media that were considered beneath the standard of fine art; working openly with scores of studio participants and acknowledging their role in the production of art, in all these ways Judy Chicago defied tradition and challenged the usual boundaries of the contemporary art world.

Larry David Jewish History Dinner Party

Exhibition Tour

In 1979 the work was premiered to enormous public enthusiasm by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, whose director, Henry Hopkins, had followed its progress and supported it with grant applications in the Museum’s name for years. But the next planned stops on its exhibition tour were quickly scuttled. It was then that Through the Flower stepped in to bring The Dinner Party to the many viewers who were clamoring to see it even in the face of art world resistance and hostility which grew out of the convention-shattering nature of The Dinner Party.

Chicago’s uncommon range of abilities and her emphasis on education turned the tide. Knowing that women’s achievements—especially in the arts—had disappeared from history, Chicago planned two volumes and a film documenting The Dinner Party so that it would not be easily erased. She had already published an autobiography, Through the Flower: My Struggle as a Woman Artist (1975) in which she detailed her effort to construct a historical context for her life as a woman artist. Her effort came to fruition in The Dinner Party as volunteers scoured libraries for women in history, while others gave countless hours alongside Chicago in the studio where ceramics and textiles were made. Neither Chicago nor her colleagues imagined that her book would launch The Dinner Party when the art world could not, but that’s what happened. Hundreds of thousands of visitors were moved by it; it stirred strong passions, evoked arguments among highly trained professionals, inspired parodies and imitations, even gave rise to a wave of elementary-school projects where children honored the woman of their choice by decorating a paper plate.

As The Dinner Party traveled, the culture it was part of slowly shifted. Women’s studies joined existing specialties on college campuses. Women’s rights were slowly won in the workplace, the courtroom, and the schoolyard. Some churches yielded to women’s demands for leadership roles. In the art world trends that had first emerged in California Feminist Art began to sweep the country among young artists both male and female. Materials ranging from fabric toys to paper clips became part of contemporary art making. Personal subject matter made a comeback. Installation art became a standard, and historical troves were mined to yield narrative art and post-modern commentary on history. The world, even the art world, began to catch up to the point from which Judy Chicago had begun The Dinner Party.

Finding a Home

From the beginning Chicago had set a goal of permanently housing The Dinner Party because she recognized that without permanent housing The Dinner Party, like so much of women’s cultural production, could be lost. While the project of permanently housing The Dinner Party was stalled perpetually by the high cost of creating an ongoing institutional framework for it, the growing audience for the work found it hard to believe that housing the art was not just a matter of saying “yes.” For Chicago the situation was deeply frustrating. Over and over exhibitors profited from showing the piece. On campuses, fields of study sprang up that lent context to the factual detail embodied in the art. To students, The Dinner Party was part of art history. But for a long time permanent housing was elusive despite many efforts around the country.

Then The Dinner Party’s future was secured by Dr. Elizabeth A. Sackler. Younger than Chicago, Sackler’s experience of art from many cultures was almost unique. Her father, Arthur M. Sackler acquired countless artifacts from world cultures, donating them to museums along with buildings to house them. Sackler, who earned her Ph.D. in social history, had worked with museums on exhibitions and funded the repatriation of Native American artifacts. She also collected works by Judy Chicago and got to know her. Over time Sackler came to a decision; she would acquire the work and gift it to the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, where she is a trustee.

History Dinner Party Project


Oral History Dinner Party Office

The trustees gave Sackler a standing ovation for her role in preserving the controversial Dinner Party and in 2012, Dr. Sackler was celebrated by the museum for her vision in establishing the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. The Dinner Party, accounts for a large percentage of the museum’s attendance.