Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: T-319

Audiotape collection of Judy Chicago, 1968-2001


Audiotapes of artist, feminist, and writer Judy Chicago.


  • 1968-2001


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright varies from tape to tape. Where applicable, Judy Chicago retains her copyright in the audiotapes during her lifetime. Other copyrighted materials found in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Audiotapes may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


197 audiotapes

Series I, THE DINNER PARTY AND RESPONSES TO THE WORK,1976-1999 (#1-60), contains materials related to the making of, and the debate surrounding, the multi-media art installation The Dinner Party. It is arranged in three subseries.

Subseries A, Interviews and lectures1976-1999 (#1-12), contains audiotapes about the background and history of the exhibit.

Subseries B, Conference, March 17, 1979 (#13-34), sessions include scholars speaking about historical figures included in the exhibit. 22 reel-to-reel tapes.

Subseries C, After The Dinner Party, 1979-1980 (#35-61), follow-up to the exhibit and series of discussions with a group of unidentified women in Houston, Texas, regarding their reactions to the exhibit, the effect it had on their lives, and their burgeoning feminism. For related video material, see Vt-122, #2-9.

Series II, THE BIRTH PROJECT, 1980-1985 (#62-151), is arranged in three subseries:

Subseries A, Research and public presentations, 1980-1985 (#62-76), contains audiotapes focusing on the collaborative nature of the project, including interviews with participants, namely for research purposes, about their birth experiences.

Subseries B, Interviews with participants, 1981-1984 (#77-121), contains informal discussions and interviews. Most interviews were conducted by Judy Chicago and ask the participants about their interest in the project, their personal backgrounds and life choices, and their feelings about feminism and being part of a feminist art project. Some interviews contain critiques of the participant's work and some have been partially transcribed to be used as excerpts in the exhibits, see The Birth Project exhibition files, MC 502, #59.1-67.30.

Subseries C, Reviews of works in progress, 1981-1983 (#122-151), Judy Chicago and others critique the work of collaborators, either at their work site or remotely. Some reviews include interviews with participants.

Series III, HOLOCAUST PROJECT, 1986-1996 (#152-168), contains Judy Chicago's early research for the project, and lectures and interviews with Chicago while exhibit was on view in various locations. Of particular interest in this series are the interviews conducted by Chicago with her mother and aunt, largely about their Jewish heritage.

Series IV, INTERVIEWS AND LECTURES, 1968-2001 (#169-197), contains interviews with, and lectures by or about, Judy Chicago, and her place in the feminist art movement.


Judy Chicago, an artist, writer, and feminist, was born Judy Cohen in Chicago, Illinois, July 20, 1939. The daughter of Arthur M., a labor organizer, and May (Levenson) Cohen, a medical secretary, Chicago adopted the surname Chicago in 1969. She was married and widowed by Jerry Gerowitz (1961-1963), married and divorced from Lloyd Hamrol (1969-1979), and has been married to Donald Woodman since 1985.

After receiving her B.A. (1962) and M.F.A. (1964) from the University of California, Los Angeles, Chicago received recognition for her minimalist sculpture through an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1967) and a one-woman show at California State University at Fullerton (1970).

Increasingly sensitive to the need for an environment in which women artists could express themselves freely without regard to an art world dominated by males, Chicago pioneered feminist art education programs through her experience as assistant and founder of the Women's Art Program California State University at Fresno (1969-1971) and as instructor and co-founder of the Feminist Studio Workshop at the California Institute of the Arts (1971-1973). Her experience with the Feminist Art Program culminated in Womanhouse (1971), an installation she directed with the artist Miriam Shapiro. In 1973, Chicago organized the Feminist Studio Workshop, the first independent feminist art program in the country.

Chicago is best known for The Dinner Party (1974-1979), a multi-media installation honoring the achievements of women in Western civilization. Created with the participation of hundreds of volunteers, The Dinner Party was viewed by approximately one million people in exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad between 1979 and 1988. In 1978, Chicago established a non-profit organization, Through the Flower to support the completion of The Dinner Party. Through the Flower continues to this day as an "arts organization whose mission is to create a cultural legacy built upon the vision embodied in the work of Judy Chicago through education, exhibition and preservation" ( Since 2002, The Dinner Party has been permanently housed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York.

Committed to using art as a vehicle for intellectual and social change, Chicago created The Birth Project (1980-1985), a series of birth and creation images for needlework executed by skilled stitchers around the country, and the Holocaust Project (1984-1993) in collaboration with her husband, photographer Donald Woodman. A frequent lecturer, she is the author of Through the Flower: My Struggle as a Woman Artist (1975), Beyond the Flower: The Autobiography of a Feminist Artist (1996), and a number of books on her work.


The collection includes interviews, lectures, and discussions relating to Judy Chicago's professional life. Audiotape titles are largely those on the tape label. Dates, if supplied, reflect the original taping or release date of the material. The bulk of the audiotapes are in audiocassette format, except where noted. For related materials, see the finding aid for the Judy Chicago papers, MC 502, and videotapes, Vt-122. The audiotape collection is arranged in four series:

  1. Series I. THE DINNER PARTY AND RESPONSES TO THE WORK, 1976-1999 (#1-61)
  2. Series II. THE BIRTH PROJECT, 1980-1985 (#62-151)
  3. Series III. HOLOCAUST PROJECT, 1986-1996 (#152-168)
  4. Series IV. INTERVIEWS AND LECTURES, 1968-2001 (#169-197)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 96-M151, 96-M169, 98-M61, 98-M133, 99-M164, 2001-M16, 2002-M18, 2002-M45, 2004-M45, 2004-M54, 2004-M76, 2005-M12, 2005-M85, 2005-M136, 2007-M48, 2007-M67, 2007-M76, 2007-M203, 2004-M67, 2010-M6, 2011-M27, 2012-M26, 2013-M28, 2014-M31, 2014-M35, 2014-M37, 2015-M10, 2016-M32, 2016-M133, 2016-M227, 2017-M88, 2017-M130, 2018-M119.

These audiotapes were included with the papers of Judy Chicago (MC 502) and (MC 909) that were given to the Schlesinger Library between 1996 and 2018 by Judy Chicago.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Videotape Collection of Judy Chicago, 1971-2004 (Vt-122), Judy Chicago papers, 1947-2004 (MC 502), and Judy Chicago additional papers, 1963-2016 (MC 909).

Processing Information

Processed: June 2009

By: Joanne Donovan

Updated: September 2019

By: Joanne Donovan

Chicago, Judy, 1939-. Audiotape collection of Judy Chicago, 1968-2001: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA