In the early seventies after a decade of professional art practice, Chicago pioneered Feminist art and art education through a unique program for women at California State University, Fresno, a pedagogical approach that she has continued to develop over the years. In 1974, Chicago turned her attention to the subject of women’s history to create her most well-known work, The Dinner Party, which was executed between 1974 and 1979 with the participation of hundreds of volunteers. This monumental multimedia project, a symbolic history of women in Western Civilization, has been seen by more than one million viewers during its sixteen exhibitions held at venues spanning six countries. The Dinner Party has been the subject of countless articles and art history texts and is included in innumerable publications in diverse fields
The impact of The Dinner Party was examined in the 1996 exhibition, Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party in Feminist Art History. Curated by Dr. Amelia Jones at the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, this show was accompanied by an extensive catalogue published by the University of California Press. Jones’ analysis has been updated and expanded in historian Jane Gerhard’s book The Dinner Party: Judy Chicago and the Power of Popular Feminism, 1970-2007, published by the University of Georgia Press. In 2007, The Dinner Party was permanently housed at the Brooklyn Museum as the centerpiece of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, thereby achieving Chicago’s long-held goal. Recently, Chicago published a final updated book, The Dinner Party: Restoring Women to History (The Monacelli Press, 2014).