Above are photos of 9 of the 39 plates. Here are some of the other woman honored with place settings:
Anna von Schurman (1607-1678). Artist, linguist, theologian, and author of
an early book proposing that women be given an education equal to men's.
Ishtar (pre-history). Great goddess of Mesopotamia with infinite power; the female
as giver and taker of life.
Marcella (325-410). Founded the first Christian convent in Rome, providing a safe
haven for women dedicated religion and charity.
Boadaceia (first century A.D.). Warrior queen who led her people in battle
against oppressive Roman forces.
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883). Abolitionist and feminist, personifies the struggle
of black women in America to overcome gender and racial oppression.
Aspasia (470-410 B.C.). Philosopher who organized female 'salons' to discuss the
role of women as their rights and power had waned.
Judith (6th century B.C.). Biblical heroine known for slaying the Assyrian general
Holofernes after he had laid siege to the Israelite city of Bethulia.
Hrosvitha (935-1002). Poet, playwright, and historian, whose pious dramas depicted
women as strong, steadfast, and pure.
Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204). Medeival Queen of France, and then of England,
who advocated an active role for women in the Christian Crusades.
Trotula (died 1097). Physician specializing in gynecology and obstetrics; wrote
a treatise on women's diseases that remained in use for centuries after her death.
Hildegarde of Bingen (1098-1179). Visionary abbess, medical scholar, musician,
writer, and artist; her work emphasized the relationship between human and divine.
Ethel Smyth (1858-1944). Composer of orchestral and chamber music, operas and choral
works; professional obstacles led to her advocacy for women's rights.
Hypatia (340-415). Mathematician and philosopher of Alexandria, brutally murdered
for her teachings, which challenged the Christian church.
Amazon (legendary). Embodiment of warrior women who fought for the independence
of all female societies, most extensively described in ancient Greek mythology.
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910). First women in America to graduate from medical
school and become a licensed physician; fought to open the profession to other women.
Petronilla de Meath (died 1324). First women burned as a witch. Her presence at
the table represents the persecution of women from the 13th through the 17th centuries.
Anne Huthinson (1591-1643). Religious reformer in North America who challenged
church doctrine and was excommunicated and banished for her beliefs.
Christine de Pisan (1364-1431). First professional female author; wrote a book
about a mythical city populated by the greatest women in history; initiated the first feminist discourse in Europe.
Primordial Goddess (pre-history). Symbolizes the original feminine being in ancient
religions, from whom all life emerged; the Earth Mother.
Elizabeth R. (1533-1603). Queen who led England to cultural, economic, and political
prosperity; asserted her independence by refusing to marry.
Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1651). Successful painter when artistic training was
unavailable to women; she sympathetically depicted female characters from biblical and secular history.
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906). American feminist revolutionary; demanded that women
be able to vote, receive formal education, and have legal control over their bodies, earnings, and property.
Fertile Goddess (pre-history). Women as symbol of birth and re-birth, and as source
of nourishment, protection, and warmth.
Hatshepsut (B. 1503 B.C.). Reigned Egypt from 1473 to a458 B.C.; renowned pharaoh
who achieved peace and prosperity.
Sacajawea (1812-1884). Native American interpreter and guide for the Lewis and
Natalie Barney (1876-1972). Lesbian feminist writer who revealed openly in her
sexuality; hosted a weekly cultural salon in Paris for almost 60 years.
Sophia (pre-history). A spiritual representation of feminine wisdom and power;
seen particularly in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the incorporeal mediator between creation and the creator.
Kali (pre-history). Hindu Goddess; her inclusion here challenges a broad misrepresentation
of female power as destructive.
Snake Goddess (pre-history). Associated with wisdom, protection, fertility, and
regeneration of the ancient Cretan mother Goddess, personifying a predominantly matriarchal religion.