Declaring Independence: The Enduring Impact of Judy Chicago’s Installation Artwork “The Dinner Party” and Kay Lawrence’s “Parliament House Embroidery”

By Margaret Mary Baguley and Martin Charles Kerby.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Bicentenary celebrations which occurred in the United States on July 4, 1976 and in Australia on January 26, 1988 were historically significant, but also provided women with the opportunity to write their history into the narrative of both nations. This paper seeks to provide important insights into two nationally significant artworks which emerged during these periods of national re-evaluation and reflection: The Dinner Party (Judy Chicago, United States), exhibited in Australia during its Bicentennial year in 1988 and the Parliament House Embroidery (Kay Lawrence, Australia) created for the opening of Parliament House in Canberra during the same year. A juxtaposition of The Dinner Party and the Parliament House Embroidery will be undertaken in order to examine the two divergent approaches taken by the artists to ascertain the influence of these important national works and their enduring effect on the arts and broader community.

Keywords: Collaboration, Women Artists, Art, Craft, Feminism, History, Education

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.253-264. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 612.628KB).

Dr. Margaret Mary Baguley

Senior Lecturer, Arts Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy, University of Southern Queensland, Springfield, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Margaret Baguley currently is a Senior Lecturer in Arts Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy University of Southern Queensland. Her teaching and research interests are concerned with the role of visual art in the education of early childhood, primary and secondary students. She has an extensive teaching background across all facets of education, in addition to maintaining her arts practice. An interest in collaborative practice and exhibition underpins her teaching. Dr. Baguley’s research supervision encompasses studies in visual arts education, children’s engagement with the arts, teacher development, museum studies and the value of the arts in the community. In 2008 Margaret received a national award to recognize her outstanding contribution to student learning from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC).

Dr. Martin Charles Kerby

Head of Information Services/College Curator and Archivist, Secondary Education, St Joseph’s Nudgee College, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Martin Kerby is the Head of Information Services and Museum Curator/Archivist of St Joseph’s Nudgee College Museum in Brisbane, Australia. He was also a foundation member of the Middle School program in 2001. He has written three books, Undying Echoes (2001) about the military history of St Joseph’s Nudgee College, Where Glory Awaits (2005) the military history of St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace, another boys’ school in Brisbane and Of Great and Good Men (2010), a history of St Joseph’s Nudgee College 1st XV and 1st X111. Martin has recently been awarded his PhD examining the life of war correspondent Sir Philip Gibbs. In January 2008 he was awarded a place at the inaugural Australian Government Summer School in History held in Canberra, ACT.


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