Feminist artist Judy Chicago is perhaps best known for The Dinner Party (1974-1979), a large-scale installation on permanent view at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City. Chicago’s iconic triangular banquet table holds a place for 39 paramount women from history. An embroidered cloth beneath each setting, The Dinner Party is complete with utensils, chalices, and porcelain plates, each tastefully hand-painted with feminine motifs “rendered in styles appropriate to the individual women being honored,” the Brooklyn Museum describes. On the tile floor below are the names of 999 more notable women.
It was a wonder that Chicago had yet to be approached to create an affordable line of dinner plates inspired by her internationally-renowned installation, but this month, homeware retailer Prospect NY released the limited-edition Judy Chicago Collection in collaboration with the artist herself.
The “Sappho” dinner plate honors the ancient Greek poet; the “Elizabeth R” plate is inspired by the Virgin Queen; the “Primordial Goddess” plate “symbolizes the universal female principle…the primal vagina and the sacred vessel, source of all life energy”; and the “Amazon” plate is embellished with the symbols of a white egg, a red crescent, a black stone, and metallic breastplates worn by warrior women. Each plate is a limited-edition of 150 forged from fine bone china, and the reverse side features a quote about the subject by Chicago.
“I worked closely with Prospect NY to choose the motifs—it was important to all of us that they resonate across generations,” Chicago said in a statement. “We chose Primordial Goddess for the way in which she embodies an ineffable cosmic force and creative energy—the ultimate artist. We chose Sappho for our faith in women’s wisdom and a commitment to supporting and educating each other. We chose Amazon for her representation of a communal society and female strength; and Elizabeth R for the possibility of women as rulers of the Western World. Collectively, these four figures embody the overarching concepts behind The Dinner Party.”
The Judy Chicago Collaboration also offers a Margaret Sanger silk scarf in honor of the birth control activist, nurse, writer, and sex educator; as well as pillows with quotes from two banners over Chicago’s original installation.
“I was thrilled when Prospect NY suggested this project,” Chicago said. “After all, my goal with The Dinner Party was to teach a broad and diverse audience about the richness of women’s heritage—what better way to achieve this than through easily accessible reproductions? Who knows what kinds of conversations these plates might spark around dinner tables at home?”
Prospect NY believes that collecting art should be an attainable passion. “We were founded on the belief that ownership of incredible artworks by inspiring artists should be both affordable and accessible to anyone who loves art, who celebrates the artist or whom the work simply speaks to,” according to their website.
Prospect NY founder Laura Currie and managing partner Danielle Mayer are no stranger to artist collaborations. Currently, they’re offering additional homeware lines from Enoc Perez, Rachel Libeskind, Baron Von Fancy, Kate Neckel, Misha Kahn, and Nir Hod.