Scope and Contents
This collection consists of textual, photographic, graphic, and audiovisual materials related to Judy Chicago's art and pedagogy. This includes the records of courses taught at California State Polytechnic University, Duke University, Indiana University, Vanderbilt University, and Western Kentucky University, as well as the development of the Dinner Party companion curriculum, and a number of Chicago’s writings about art and education. Although some material is dated from the early 1970s, the bulk of the collection was created between 1994 and 2013.
- Chicago, Judy, 1939- (Person)
Access to Collection
This collection is open for research.
This collection contains student records that are subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In accordance with FERPA, all student records are restricted for a period of 75 years from the date of their creation. Restrictions, where applicable, are noted at the series level.
Technical Access Note
Boxes 30-35 of this collection contains audiovisual and born digital materials which may require specialized equipment for playback and access. Please contact the Special Collections Research Services Unit at
Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
This collection was donated to the Pennsylvania State University Libraries by Judy Chicago and the non-profit Feminist art organization Through the Flower founded by Judy Chicago.
This collection does not remain in its original order. The collection was reprocessed, arranged and described, by Alyssa Carver and Special Collections employees, 2017-10. Item level inventory for computer disks/tapes, moving images and artifacts was completed by G. Johns, 2018-12. Metadata required to present this archival collection as a digital collection was provided by Katelyn Dion Town, G. Johns and Special Collections employees, 2017-2018.
15 Linear Feet (35 Boxes)
Judy Chicago is a noted feminist artist, author, and educator. This collection consists of textual, photographic, graphic, and audiovisual materials related to her art pedagogical methods, including The Dinner Party Curriculum.
This collection is organized into the following series.
- Series I – University Teaching Residencies
- Subseries 1 – At Home: A Kentucky Project (WKU)
- Subseries 2 – Envisioning the Future (Cal State Pomona)
- Subseries 3 – Evoke/Invoke/Provoke (Vanderbilt University)
- Subseries 4 – From Theory to Practice (Duke)
- Subseries 5 – SINsation (Indiana University)
- Series II – Other Pedagogy
- Subseries 1 – The Dinner Party Curriculum Project
- Subseries 2 – Feminist Art Program (Fresno/Cal Arts)
- Subseries 3 – Through the Flower Summer Workshop (College of Santa Fe)
- Series III – Book Projects & Other Writing
- Subseries 1 – Frida Kahlo: Face to Face
- Subseries 2 – Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education
- Subseries 3 – Other Writing
- Series IV – General Files & Correspondence
- Series V – Art & Artifacts
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Penn State University Libraries catalog via the link above. Archival collections may be housed in offsite storage. For materials stored offsite, please allow 2-3 business days for retrieval.
Judy Chicago is a feminist artist, author, and educator best known for The Dinner Party, a multimedia art installation honoring women in history, created with the participation of hundreds of volunteers between 1974 and 1979. Other major works of art include: the Birth Project (1980-1985), The Holocaust Project: From Darkness to Light (1985-1993), and Resolutions: A Stitch in Time (1994-2000).
Born Judith Sylvia Cohen in 1939, she later adopted the surname Chicago, the city of her birth, as a rejection of patriarchal naming conventions. After receiving her B.A. (1962) and M.F.A. (1964) from the University of California, Los Angeles, Chicago pioneered a feminist, content-based approach to art education through teaching positions at the California State University, Fresno (1970-1971) and the California Institute of the Arts (1971-1972). There she helped to organize and produce the ground-breaking Womanhouse installation and exhibition (1971). In addition to ‘central core imagery,’ Chicago’s work often utilizes stereotypically ‘feminine’ art techniques like embroidery, ceramics, needlework, and weaving. Though her art has been exhibited internationally and received many honors, it has also been subject to ongoing debate and criticism. Even her most influential work, The Dinner Party, did not find a permanent home until 2007, when the Brooklyn Museum made it the centerpiece of their new Sackler Center for Feminist Art.
In the late 1990s, Chicago returned to teaching with a succession of appointments at universities across the United States, often working with her husband, photographer Donald Woodman. In addition to Chicago’s work as an artist and educator, she is the author of numerous books, including Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education, and two autobiographies: Through the Flower: My Struggle as a Woman Artist (1975) and Beyond the Flower: The Autobiography of a Feminist Artist (1996).
Chicago’s non-profit organization is also called Through the Flower. Founded in 1978 to help raise funds for completing The Dinner Party, it maintains Chicago’s art legacy and works to educate the public about women’s achievements in art. It is based in Belen, New Mexico, where Chicago and Woodman currently reside.
Existence and Location of Copies
Audiovisual materials in this collection have been digitized and digital access copies are available upon request
- Guide to the Judy Chicago art education collection
- The original author of this finding aid is unknown. Alyssa Carver, Gwyn John, and Kaitlyn Dion Town contributed to this finding aid
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 10/23/2017: New finding aid and reprocessed inventory created to replace previous published version of # 9028.
- 2019: Finding aid revised to update finding aid title, finding aid date, added finding aid authors, and added technical access note. Converted <i> tags to <title> tags for updated standard. Lexy deGraffenreidm December 18, 2019