Judy Chicago on Arts Education

Monday, March 10, 2014

Judy Chicago, artist, creator of The Dinner Party, now a permanent installation at the Brooklyn Museum, teacher and author of Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education (The Monacelli Press, 2014), shares the story of her own arts education and critiques that of today, finding persistent problems as well as ways to fix them.


Judy Chicago

Comments [11]

art525 from Park Slope

Seth, I think it's very nice if some young girl goes to see the Dinner Party and finds out about some artists who may inspire her. But the experience you describe is didactic not aesthetic. It doesn't make Mz Chicago a great or an interesting artist I guess it makes her a teacher. Art should impact you on an emotional, visceral level. It should be from the heart and not from the head. I have seen enough of Mz Chicago's work to know that it doesn't move me, I have no interest in it. I go to a gallery or museum to see art and be moved not to read a reference book. And sorry but I think she has made a career oout of milking feminism. My female artist friends tell me they would rather be known as an artist not a woman artist. I referred earlier to Georgia O'Keefe an artist who made my pulse quicken when I first encountered her work. That's what it should be about.

Mar. 10 2014 01:42 PM

art525, if all you know about Judy's work is the Dinner Party, then my understanding is that you know next to nothing. Unfortunately, like Bernie you are in the majority. But feel free to do your own research. Also, just take that one Dinner Party. Thanks to it, both men and women know a lot more about many other women artists that they would have never known had it not been for that one piece. A young girl is taken there by her mom and sees just one plate that catches her eye, notes the woman who it's named for, and then one day goes to find more about that one artist -- it opens a whole new world for that girl. It's how it starts, simply and broadly, and it gives females something to hang onto the way Bart Starr, Hank Aaron, Magic Johnson and Dick Butkis were for me.

Mar. 10 2014 12:41 PM

All I can say is that my X has followed, and been inspired by, Judy's work for a couple of decades now.... even before the Dinner Party. I've learned from her that Judy has been at it for over half a century. She has a large body of work that reflects the rigor, perserverance, dedication, aestetic, care and creativity that is required of an artist today... even more so for a female artist.

Judy suffers from something that more often affects rock musicians -- you have one big hit and the media rarely covers the other work. Bernie has never even heard of Judy's best work, but he's in the majority, and just thought he'd shoot his mouth off. "Originality is lack of information." as the saying goes.

Judy's other art is more than just quality work; it has inspired thousands of young women to go out and seek their own way in the world, make their own mark, whether as artists or whatever else. Any one of us men would be beyond our realm if we were lucky enough to have that deep and broad effect on our respective career communities.

And, that's just the tip of this discussion. I could go on, a lot, but I hate typing.

Mar. 10 2014 12:37 PM
art525 from Park Slope

Yes Seth, please support your position. I'm with Bernie.
I think Mz Chicago's success has been built on her promotion of feminism rather than the quality of the work itself which is not all that interesting. Well other than her promotion of feminist issues. I mean that's all The Dinner Party consists of. And that's the only reason The Brooklyn Museum acquired it. Georgia O'Keefe who is one of the artists included in The Dinner Party was a terrific painter who engaged the viewer with the quality of her work, how exciting it was, and not for external political issues. She was acknowledged and accepted by the art world because she was a really really good artist.

Mar. 10 2014 12:17 PM
Alex from TriBeCa

Seth, never fear. Happily, you're not responsible for another person's incuriosity or lack of reflectiveness. Cheers.

Mar. 10 2014 12:12 PM
A.M. from Nolita

I second Seth's comment: Bernie's lack of information and insight tend to correlate with spouting the view he's spouting.

Mar. 10 2014 12:10 PM
bernie from bklyn

ok seth, tell me how i'm wrong.

Mar. 10 2014 12:05 PM

Bernie, you don't know what you're talking about.

Mar. 10 2014 12:00 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I'm so glad Ms. Chicago has confirmed my contention that university level teachers need teaching certificates, too. It applies in all fields, not just art. Art is, indeed, a talent, a skill, that is innate, but technique can be taught, but not by artists who are talented but have no idea how to convey their knowledge to others.

One thing that Ms. Chicago has omitted is that art needs to be taught in all schools. Art and music are essentials in education, but because they are not the "three Rs," budget-cutters start with them and that is a HUGE mistake.

Mar. 10 2014 12:00 PM
bernie from bklyn

art and abortion are the same? this show was going great up until.......right now.

Mar. 10 2014 11:55 AM
bernie from bklyn

calling yourself a "feminist" artist is as ridiculous as calling yourself a "masculine" artist. this guest is a book-smart "artist" as opposed to a REAL artist. what is a REAL artist? one how creates without ever considering self-labeling.

Mar. 10 2014 11:54 AM

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