The Flowering The Autobiography of Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago, Gloria Steinem

In this provocative and resonant autobiography, world-renowned artist and feminist icon Judy Chicago reflects on her extraordinary life and career.

Judy Chicago is America’s most dynamic living artist. Her works comprise a dizzying array of media from performance and installation to the glittering table laid for thirty-nine iconic women in The Dinner Party (now permanently housed at the Brooklyn Museum), the groundbreaking Birth Project, and the meticulously researched Holocaust Project. She designed the monumental installation for Dior’s 2020 Paris couture show and, in 2019, established the Judy Chicago Portal, which will help to accomplish her lifelong goal of overcoming the erasure that has eclipsed the achievements of so many women.

The Flowering is her vivid and revealing autobiography, fully illustrated with photographs of her work, as well as never-before-published personal images and a foreword by Gloria Steinem. Chicago has revised and updated her earlier, classic works with previously untold stories, fresh insights, and an extensive afterword covering the last twenty years. This powerful narrative weaves together the stories behind some of Chicago’s most significant artworks and her journey as a woman artist with the chronicles of her personal relationships and her understanding, from decades of experience and extensive research, of how misogyny, racism, and other prejudices intersect to erase the legacies of artists who are not white and male while dismissing the suffering of millions of creatures who share the planet.

With the first career retrospective of her work forthcoming at the de Young Museum in 2021, Chicago reinforces her message of resilience for a new generation of artists and activists. The Flowering is an essential read for anyone interested in making change.


Intimate and absorbing… hard to put down… This personal story traces the artist's career and highlights her determination to champion women.

— Moment

Chicago, now in her triumphant eighties, charts the evolution of her radical, conceptually and technically complicated art… Her dramatic life and extensive and intrepid body of work deserve close attention.

— Booklist

The story of [Judy Chicago's] life…promises to be a rollicking tale.

— Artnews

When one reads the narrative of [Judy Chicago's] life, one sees how tough a struggle she has had to reach the situation of respect she now enjoys.

— Edward Lucie-Smith, Artlyst

An intimate [and] revealing account of an artist of grit and gumption who set the pattern for much of the art being made today.

— The Washington Post

An intimate tour of [Judy Chicago's] development as an artist, sharing the challenges, struggles, and triumphs to make space for women in the male dominated art world, which established false hierarchies that continue to this day. Refusing to play along, Chicago subverted the system from within, using her work to call out established notions of art, history, and gender, restoring the Divine Feminine to its rightful place in the pantheon.

— Dazed

A meticulous record of the artist's life and career… [Judy Chicago's] writing moves fluidly between accounts of her personal life, her artistic endeavors and struggles, and the evolution of her feminism into a feminist art practice.

— National Museum of Women in the Arts

A page turner for creative readers passionate about change.

— Surface

Now, we need Judy Chicago more than ever.

— Gloria Steinem


Judy Chicago


Judy Chicago is an artist, author, feminist, and educator whose career spans nearly six decades. Her work has been the subject of major retrospectives at Serpentine (2024), the New Museum (2023), and the de Young Museum (2021), and is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Brooklyn Museum; the British Museum; the de Young Museum; the Getty Trust; the Hammer Museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Moderna Museet; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Tate; and more than twenty-five university art museums.

Gloria Steinem

Foreword By

Gloria Steinem is an American feminist and social political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader and spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s.