No Modesty in Show of `Sexual Politics': Critical Response Shows L.A. `Not Land Taste Forgot'

By Billingsley, K. L. | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 6, 1996 | Go to article overview

No Modesty in Show of `Sexual Politics': Critical Response Shows L.A. `Not Land Taste Forgot'


Billingsley, K. L., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


LOS ANGELES - It takes some doing to raise eyebrows in the entertainment capital of the world, where sexual display has long been a mainstay.

"Sexual Politics," an exhibit running through Aug. 18 at the prestigious Armand Hammer Museum of Art, features Judy Chicago's "The Dinner Party," which forms a 140-foot equilateral triangle depicting stylized - imagined - private parts of 39 historically important women.

They range from Sappho to Susan B. Anthony and Georgia O'Keeffe, who was said to have been appalled to have her name included with the work, which was created in the 1970s with the help of a $36,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This is the same exhibit that caused demonstrations at the University of the District of Columbia in the fall of 1990 when it was revealed that the school's trustees had agreed to raise $1.6 million in bonds to acquire and exhibit the controversial sculpture. Angry students occupied university buildings for nearly two weeks before the artist rescinded her offer to donate the piece.

That such an exhibit would be considered serious art "is a vocal pagan voice speaking in our society that is almost demanding that traditional values be abandoned," says the Rev. Louis Sheldon of the Orange County-based Traditional Values Coalition.

"When you lose your modesty," he asks, "what do you have left for the next generation?"

Other critics have called the work pornographic and some feminists charge that it reinforces masculine notions of "greatness." Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Knight termed it a "blunder," a "fiasco" and "the worst exhibition I've seen in a Los Angeles museum in many a moon."

"It's always disappointing to come upon an ambitious but failed work of art, like `The Dinner Party,' " he wrote. "But to witness a museum actively participate in the trivialization of art is infinitely worse."

Museum officials insist that the show has been a hit. "It has a really large following among non-art-specialists and non-feminists," says guest curator Amelia Jones.

PBS film critic Michael Medved calls "The Dinner Party" "feminist kitsch" that, "outside of its ideological contents, is ludicrous and laughable."

"Even the usual suspects didn't fall for this," says Mr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

No Modesty in Show of `Sexual Politics': Critical Response Shows L.A. `Not Land Taste Forgot'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.