If you’ve never had a chance to get to the Brooklyn Museum to check out the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for feminist art–make sure you try and check it out. It is one of the only art spaces dedicated specifically to curating feminist thought and achievement. I’ve gone a few times and former editor Courtney has curated panels there–but it is a great opportunity to learn about feminist history and imagine what it would have been like had all these great minds sat down at dinner together. That’s right–the Sackler center has a feminist rendition of the “dinner party.” For their 5th anniversary they’ve created a 4th wing.
The Sackler Center has created a symbolic fourth wing commemorating famous contemporary women who might be seated at the table alongside such influential women as Sacajawea, Queen Elizabeth I and Emily Dickinson.
It has selected 15 women, all first in their fields, who will be honored with the center’s first-time First Awards at a ceremony Wednesday.
They include Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court; Toni Morrison, the first African-American woman to receive the Noble Prize for literature; Muriel Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange; Connie Chung, the first person of Asian descent to hold a network anchor position; and Wilma Pearl Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation (she died in 2010.)
It’s always interesting who is considered a feminist in history or how we conflate women’s history and feminist history–but the Sackler Center is intentional about the kinds of historical people they chose to showcase. And art gives you a creativity that historical retellings may not–it allows the possibility of imagination.
So, in that vein, If you were going to put the perfect dinner party together–what feminists would attend yours?