Sarah Cascone at Artnet News writes:
A long-lost, groundbreaking work of feminist art by British artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, members of the famously bohemian Bloomsbury Group, is being shown publicly for the first time at Piano Nobile gallery in London.
The Famous Women Dinner Service is a 50-piece ceramic dish set featuring portraits of famous women from history, completed between 1932 and 1934.
Even though it predates Judy Chicago’s iconic The Dinner Party—a triangular table with 39 place settings recognizing the achievements of women throughout history—by more than 40 years, there’s a reason you haven’t heard of The Famous Women Dinner Service. A private commission, it was never publicly displayed, and for decades, art historians believed it was lost.
Grant and Bell created a bold feminist statement, featuring 12 dancers and actresses, 12 writers, 12 beauties, and 12 queens, each surrounded by bold patterned borders.