In recent weeks, feminist artist Judy Chicago has been the subject of considerable attention, much of it revolving around the news that her seminal work, “The Dinner Party,” (1974-79), has finally found a permanent home as the centerpiece of the Brooklyn Museum’s newly constructed Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, opening later this month. This development coincides with the recent resurgence of interest in feminist art, occasioned by the establishment of the Sackler Center as well as several new museum exhibits exploring the subject.
Shortly after graduating from Williams College, Sigmund Balka moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the Kennedy administration and decided to collect art. While his collecting interests ranged from modernist prints to Inuit art, Balka was especially drawn to the work of Jewish artists. Even at this young age, Balka perceived the collection of works by Jewish artists as a way to chronicle Jewish life and history.