The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum has been calling me for years, but I kept ignoring it. In the past, I have poured over images of Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, impressed by its magnitude and its significance in the history of feminist art. And yet, I finally went to go see it live and in person this past weekend.
And it was impressive.
The feminine imagery is nearly overwhelming. Yet, in gazing at the 39 place settings, the one word that kept coming to mind was honoring. The scale and evocative symbolism of The Dinner Party are, of course, impressive, but there is just this feeling of wanting to see all of these women come together and to be present at that dinner party. As a guest. As a fly on the wall.
Weaving through the museum from the top floor down, LaToya Ruby Frazier’s A Haunted Capital also packed a poignant punch. Through intensely intimate portraits, Frazier documents the connection between her family and community with the decline of her hometown of Braddock, PA.
There are serene and comforting still lifes of her grandmother’s kitchen, her mother’s cooking. And then there are these portraits of private family life, of her mother cleaning the wound from her surgery, or her grandmother cleaning up after her sickly grandfather. These pictures really dig underneath your skin.
Yet, the Bruce High Quality Foundation’s Ode to Joy was my highlight. It’s ridiculous, snarky, irreverent, rebellious contemporary collective art that challenges everything and absolutely requires a sense of humor. My favorite kind of art.
The Brooklyn Museum is gigantic, so even though I stepped foot on every single floor, I’m not convinced I’ve seen everything. I can’t wait to go back with enough time for a more leisurely stroll, to hang out for the entire day and then, head back over to the park to put all this newfound inspiration into action.
Want to visit? Check out the Brooklyn Museum‘s website and head on over.