Just saw this story in The Guardian about a commemorative sculpture by Cathy de Monchaux unveiled at Newnham College, Cambridge, which as you will remember is one of the two colleges Virginia Woolf wrote about in 1929:
- “Cambridge marks women’s equality struggle – with a two-storey vulva,” Vanessa Thorpe, The Guardian (Oct. 6, 2018).
If a two-storey vulva at an Oxbridge college seems unusual, consider the long history of celebratory representations of female genitalia. We just read Gwerful Mechain’s poem. More recently, in the 1970s Judy Chicago and a team of artists made The Dinner Party, an installation of a life-sized triangular dinner table with plates representing women from history, or more specifically the vulvas of women from history, held at the Brooklyn Museum. (Yes, the exemplary women tradition is alive and well. If evolving.) For more, read
- “The Making of Judy Chicago’s Feminist Masterpiece, The Dinner Party,” Alexxa Gotthardt, Artsy (Feb. 7, 2018).
- “How—and Why—’The Dinner Party’ Became the Most Famous Feminist Artwork of All Time,” Sarah Cascone, artnetnews (
To complete the circle, here is an image of a sketch for Virginia Woolf’s plate:
[Image of a detail from Cathy de Monchaux, at the top of this post, is from The Guardian.]