1939, Chicago, Illinois
A prolific artist, author, and teacher, Judy Chicago has been a pioneering force in feminist art for more than four decades. In the early 1970s Chicago worked to expand educational opportunities for women artists. She developed the country's first art program for women in 1970–71 at California State University, Fresno, and the following year she teamed with artist Miriam Schapiro to establish the Feminist Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). In 1973, with graphic designer Sheila Levrant de Bretteville and art historian Arlene Raven, Chicago founded the Feminist Studio Workshop (FSW), an art school and exhibition space housed in the Women's Building in Los Angeles, a structure named after a pavilion at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition that featured art and crafts made by women from around the world.
Chicago's projects have often been collaborative in nature, from The Dinner Party (1974–79) to Resolutions: A Stitch in Time (1994–2000). In addition to such high-profile group endeavors, she creates individual works in many different media, including drawing, painting, needlework, textiles, bronze, and glass. Chicago's choice of materials, imagery, and means of production intentionally subvert traditional notions of fine art. She deliberately chooses modes of aesthetic practice often considered to be craft, decoration, or kitsch, embracing categories that historically have been marginalized as "women's work" in order to place gender politics and social commentary at the center of her art.