Why is her plate different?
I agree that her setting is unlike the others. It is more representational and less sculptural. The design was a reference to Truth's African heritage. The African strip-weave technique on her runner was a textile method traditionally used by slaves.
Thank you for your help.
Do you have any info on this plate for Sojourner Truth?
For Sojourner Truth's plate, Chicago looked towards African art, particularly African masks. The runner was influenced by African textiles and quilting, an important art form for many American artists of African descent.
The raised fist on the right side of the plate is a reference to Truth's speech at the Women's Rights Convention in 1851.
Tell me more.
In designing her place setting, Judy Chicago used some of Truth's own words and experiences to come up with the imagery. The raised arm refers to: "Look at me, look at my arm. It's ploughed, and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me, and ain't I a woman?" The subtle breasts at the bottom of the plate refer to an event when a man demanded Truth be searched because he could not believe that a woman could be so powerful.
Who is she and why is she crying?
This plate shows three African masks sharing a single body. The figure on the left weeps for her fellow slaves. The face on the right has an open-mouthed expression of rage, representing the anger of black women in their enslavement. The raised fist commemorates Sojourner Truth's powerful speech at the 1851 Women's Rights Convention. Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in 1797. In 1827 she used the newly passed emancipation law to win her freedom. She went on to be an important abolitionist and suffragist.
Can you tell me more about the Truth place setting?
This place setting represents Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist and suffragette
who dedicated her life to speaking out against slavery and inequality. Her place setting combines references to her African heritage as well as her prominent roots in American history.
Her plate is one of the few not connected to vulvar imagery. The plate instead shows three faces, evoking African masks. The faces represent (from left to right) the suffering of her fellow slaves, the requirement of black women to conceal their true selves, and Truth's speech and powerful gesture at the Women's Right's Convention in 1851.
Can you remind me of Sojourner Truth's accomplishments?
Sojourner Truth was an American Abolitionist and Suffragette. She was born into slavery in Upstate New York around 1797. She escaped to freedom in 1826 and dedicated her life to speaking out against slavery and inequality.
Her speeches were considered radical even by other abolitionists which gained her notoriety. She used her public platform to fight for more freedoms for people of color and women.
Who is the only black woman honored in the 39 place settings?
As you walk around the table, you'll notice Sojourner Truth is the only black woman represented at the table. There are a few more included in the Heritage Floor like Edmonia Lewis and Josephine Baker.
What is this imagery about?
To represent Sojourner Truth, Judy Chicago took inspiration from African mask traditions to reference both Truth's own African heritage and to pay homage to the many ways in which African women especially have influenced American culture.
Wow - this is amazing!!
This is Grace and Ronit from The Israeli Museum. Ronit doesn't know this history and this service is impressive. Thanks!!
For some more background: Sojourner Truth was born into enslavement in New York State in 1797. She self-emancipated, escaping in 1826, and changed her name. She became a well-known public speaker who traveled the country advocating for the abolition of slavery and rights for women.