In the same celebratory spirit as Great Day in Harlem, the famous group portrait of jazz musicians, Tea Party at the Algonguin Hotel salutes women artists as a newly empowered creative force. This iconic image was created to promote Show of Strength, a benefit exhibition for MADRE, an organization working with women to address humanitarian needs around the world.
The photograph was taken by James Hamilton, but the idea for the group portrait and its staging was thanks to Mary-Ann Monforton, the exhibition organizer. The Algonguin Hotel, famous for its literary roundtable in the 1920s, lends a historic pedigree to this group of artists, while the tea-party setting both evokes Judy Chicago’s famous Dinner Party and provides a convivial atmosphere for a gathering of women.
Co-curated by Monforton, Lucy Lippard and Lowery Stokes Sims, the 1991 benefit exhibition featured a diverse group of women artists who have withstood the test of time. Not all the artists in the exhibition were able to attend the photo session but more than half did. The result is an extraordinary group portrait that has gone largely unseen since the benefit.
Gallery 98 has three copies of the Show of Strength poster featuring the group portrait available for $250 each. We also have a few copies of the original benefit catalog now sold with the announcement card for $100.