A Place at the Table
.... When The Dinner Party opened in March 1979 at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, the critical response was mixed. (Hilton Kramer, then the chief art critic of The New York Times, called it kitsch and very bad art ... mired in the pieties of a political cause.) But it attracted huge crowds all over North America and Western Europe. In Houston, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago and Atlanta, where museums had turned it down, women raised money to show The Dinner Party in other settings. When I first saw it at the Brooklyn Museum in 1980, I was overwhelmed by its ambition. Any reservations about Chicago imagery or her choice of dinner-party guests were swept away. It was exhilarating to see so many women... the women who had created The Dinner Party and the women honored by it, and all the women who came to see it. With the opening of the Sackler Center, it will now be possible to visit and revisit this powerful expression of feminist art and the womens' movement of the 70s. Those who cannot make the trip to Brooklyn will find the next best thing in Chicago book The Dinner Party: From Creation to Preservation (Merrell, $49.95), with an essay by Chicago and hundreds of color photographs by her husband, Donald Woodman....
-excerpt from Sunday Book News and Reviews, The New York Times
Poached Pears with Vanilla Cream Sauce
Prep time 8 minutes
Peel 4 firm, ripe Bosc pears, and core from the bottom using a melon baller, leaving stems intact.
In a 2-quart microwave-safe dish with a lid, place 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, and add pears.
Cover, and microwave on high until the pears are tender enough to pierce with a knife, 10 to 12 minutes. Carefully uncover, as dish lid will release steam.
Transfer cooked pears to four shallow serving bowls, leaving juices behind. Add 1 quarter cup vanilla ice cream to the juices in the dish. Stir until smooth and saucy. Dividing evenly, spoon sauce around the pears. Serve at room temperature or chilled.