What do you see?


This past rainy, rainy Sunday, I had the great joy to visit the Brooklyn Museum in the company of three daughters, three sons-in-law, three grandchildren and one husband. Keeping that large a crowd, two under the age of six, together, engaged and not touching the art–sometimes the adults were as bad as the kids—was a challenge but (mostly) we did fine.

This was my second visit to the museum; I was eager to again experience two features of the museum: that it attracts a diverse crowd (sadly, most of my museum experiences in Boston have been pretty much Whites Only) and, oh, yes, Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party,” pictured above. (Immediately after taking that picture I was gently scolded for using a flash. Oops.)

My Brooklyn-based daughter now takes school-aged kids through the museum every week so at some stops along the way, she would ask family members open-ended questions to further help us to appreciate what we were seeing.

So, inspired by her There Are NO Right or Wrong Answers probing, here are a couple of questions about the above photograph:

What do you notice about the plates?

Why do you suppose, of all thirty-nine places at this dinner party, the photographer chose to feature Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe?

Why do you suppose the artists who made the embroidered runners chose those particular colors for those particular women?

Who do you see in the background? Why do you think that woman is carrying that child?



Join the Conversation


  1. Sister, I can’t figure out what’s wrongI tried a different computer at my library and still won’t go through-I’ll keep trying…

  2. Sisterfriend, still won’t go through when I do longer post reply-I will try to shorten and keep trying….

  3. Still trying-I try to answer the questions but when I do a longer reply it won’t go through. Wonderful questions and wonderful article, Sister. I love our Judy Chicago-she is such a cool and a progressive artist!

  4. Sisterfriend, when I do a longer reply it won;t go through-I don’t know what is wrong. Why I just wrote to you a shorter reply. I will keep trying for a longer and more detailed reply…

  5. My computer isn’t working-using the library computer, my precious and dearest white sisterfriend, Patricia! My longer replies still won’t go through but I will never ever give up and will For Always keep trying, sister…

  6. Sister, something is wrong again but I’ll For Always keep trying and I won’ give up ever. My longer reply to your Asterisked (It’s Complicated) went through just fine, but my longer reply I just did a few moments ago for this didn’t on the early morn of Fri., Mar. 6, 2015…

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