Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
October 31, 2008–April 5, 2009
Co-organized with Maura Reilly, Burning Down the House: Building a Feminist Art Collection was an exhibition of nearly fifty works from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection. Inspired by the feminist masterpiece The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, this exhibition featured artists who have risen above the narrow roles imposed on women and whose work has challenged the status quo, particularly within the canons of art history. The exhibition title refers to the idea of the “master’s house” from two perspectives: the museum as the historical domain of male artists and professed masters of art history, and the house as the supposed proper province of women. Included in the installation were works by Nayland Blake, Kiki Smith, Tracey Emin, Tracey Moffatt, Miriam Schapiro, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, and Hannah Wilke.
“Burning Down the House shares a lot of artists, ideas, and assumptions with Global Feminisms: New Directions in Feminist Art, one of the largest, most ambitious, and well-publicized exhibitions devoted to feminist art in 2007. But perhaps because expectations for the current exhibition were not so high, and the curators didn’t feel compelled to provide overarching definitions of feminist art, Burning Down the House is more rebellious and complicated.” —Kimberly Lamm, Brooklyn Rail