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July, 1979





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            Life hasn't been easy on Judy Chicago.  Like a bothersome gnat on the back of a lumbering elephant, The Box Lunch followed Chicago's show 2,000 miles across the country.  Some critics found it a "devistating critic" but its creator, Maria Manhattan, insists she never intended the show as a put-down.  "I think the two shows compliment each other," she said recently.

- Steven Hager

HORIZON, March 1981



       "After seeing Judy's show I decided she left out some of my favorites.  I have been trying to build respect for these gals who related the women's experience to us before we all got so hip - those ladies who gave us the role models we grew up with.  Let's not forget them."






"In the beginning, I was just another self-centered artist.  And then I beheld a vision.  And lo, a sign was given unto me. And the sign said, Look, Maria, already you're in your 30's.  You're a good artist, but recognition-wize you're still on the other side of the tracks.  Capitalize on a movement!  Jump on a bandwagon!  ...


          "And lo, I conceived the concept for The Box Lunch."


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          "I decided to throw a box lunch, since women have traditionally spent so much time making lunch for others."



          "Sidney has misplaced two rolls of film with vital pics on it!  I could just die!  I told Sidney to go out and have a picture taken of herself 'cause she's gonna look different next week! ..."





       "Some people went to great lengths (floor lengths) to become a part of The Box Lunch. ..."



          "I changed my name to Maria Manhattan, to protest all names imposed upon us by the male-dominated phone system."



           "Still hungry after the Dinner Party?"




          "I seat my luncheon guests around a square shaped table.  This large table is composed of many smaller tables which symbolize and embody the multifaceted concept of the female principle (kitchen table, card table, picnic table, etc.)."



           "Tonight Bermuda Schwartz said to me, 'You know Maria, you're one of the biggest assholes I've ever known!'

          That comment made me feel just great!  I felt like I was really communicating with another woman in a very real way."



          "Someone else told me how she enjoyed hanging out in my studio.  She said it made her feel elevated.  I suggested that maybe it was the drugs she was taking."



          "On our opening day, women around the world will sit out on their stoops and eat lunch, in honor of this show."




           "Some of my favorite gals had finally gotten their due at my Box Lunch, like Minnie Mouse, Lucy Ricardo, Patty Hearst, Evita Perón, Betty Crocker, Pat Nixon, Nancy Spongen, Esther Williams, Lot's wife, Marie Antoinette, and Rosemary Woods, among others..."






        "I realize that I may have been difficult to get along with at times.  Maybe my artistic temperment, trapped in this woman's body, aching for release in a man's world, made me a little testy at times.  But listen folks, wasn't it worth it?  I mean who put this whole mischigass together anyway?

-Maria Manhattan





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