Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook

By Jennifer Scanlon | Go to book overview

JUDY CHICAGO
(1939-)

Beatriz Badikian-Gartler

Judy Chicago was born Judy Cohen in the city she later adopted as her namesake. Her parents were involved in leftist politics, their house being the center for political activity in the neighborhood. As a consequence Judy Chicago grew up in a home filled with people of all races and a keen appreciation for human values, regardless of color, religious affiliation, or gender. Her father was a union organizer, and her mother worked outside the home, which gave Chicago a sense that she could be and do what she wanted. Two older female cousins, both in college and active intellectually, also provided positive role models for her. Because of her parents' left-wing politics, the family became a target of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) harassment and questioning, ending in the McCarthy witch-hunts. In 1947 she began attending the Art Institute of Chicago. By 1948 her father had been driven out of the union and had to work as an insurance salesman. However, he began to get sick as a result, and Chicago would often find him home when she returned from school. His health deteriorated rapidly, and he died during an operation to remove an ulcer in his stomach. Chicago's adolescence was spent in long conversations and reminiscences about her father with those around her who had admired him. After high school, she attended the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and lived with her mother's sister and husband, a childless couple, in Culver City. Her uncle's conservative views quickly clashed with Chicago's liberal ideas, prompting her to move in with a fellow art student. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in art in 1962 and, in 1964, received her master's degree from the same institution. By 1966 she had her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles at the Rolf Nelson Gallery and, in 1971, established the Feminist Art Program in the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia.

Judy Chicago went on to have numerous solo and group exhibitions of her work, to teach art for several years, and to receive a number of awards and grants from the Streisand Foundation, the Threshold Foundation, the Thanks Be to

-51-

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Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Editorial Board ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Bella Abzug (1920-1998) 1
  • Paula Gunn Allen (1939-) 8
  • Gloria AnzaldÚa (1942-) 14
  • Frances Beale (1940-) 22
  • Rita Mae Brown (1944-) 28
  • Charlotte Bunch (1944-) 36
  • Pat Califia (1954-) 44
  • Judy Chicago (1939-) 51
  • Shirley Chisholm (1924-) 55
  • Esther Ngan-Ling Chow (1943-) 60
  • Pearl Cleage (1948-) 66
  • Kate Clinton (1945- ) 73
  • Mary Daly (1928- ) 79
  • Angela Davis (1944-) 86
  • Shulamith Firestone (1945-) 98
  • Jo Freeman (1945-) 104
  • Betty Friedan (1921-) 111
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-) 118
  • Bell Hooks (1952- ) 125
  • Dolores Huerta (1930-) 133
  • June Jordan (1936-) 138
  • Evelyn Fox Keller (1936-) 145
  • Florynce Kennedy (1916-) 150
  • Audre Lorde (1934-1992) 156
  • Catharine Mackinnon (1946-) 163
  • Olga Madar (1915-1996) 174
  • Wilma Mankiller (1945-) 181
  • Del Martin (1921-) 188
  • Kate Millett (1934- ) 194
  • CherrÍe Moraga (1952- ) 201
  • Robin Morgan (1941-) 206
  • Pauli Murray (1910-1985) 213
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (1937-) 218
  • Alice Paul (1885-1977) 223
  • Anna Quindlen (1952-) 231
  • Adrienne Rich (1929-) 238
  • Faith Ringgold (1930-) 245
  • Rosemary Ruether (1936-) 251
  • Joanna Russ (1937-) 257
  • Patricia Schroeder (1940-) 264
  • Eleanor Smeal (1939-) 271
  • Barbara Smith (1946-) 279
  • Gloria Steinem (1934-) 283
  • Margo St. James (1937-) 290
  • Alice Walker (1944- ) 297
  • Rebecca Walker (1969-) 305
  • Michele Wallace (1952-) 311
  • Sarah Weddington (1945-) 317
  • Ellen Willis (1941-) 327
  • Selected Bibliography 335
  • Index 341
  • About the Editor and Contributors 355
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