Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Adela of Blois

signature image

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Adela of Blois
b. circa 1062/67, England; d. 1137, Marcigny, France

Adela of Blois was the daughter of William the Conqueror, king of England. In 1080, she married Stephen Henry and through the marriage became the countess of Blois, Chartres, and Meaux, in France. She acted as regent throughout the period of her husband's participation in the First and Second Crusades, from 1095–99 and again in 1101–2 (when he was killed), and served in the same capacity during the minority of her sons. Adela was a formidable participant in the power politics of her day and a skillful negotiator, resolving many disputes among ecclesiastical and civil authorities. In 1120, she retired to the Cluniac priory at Marcigny but remained active in public affairs. She died shortly after her son Stephen became king of England.

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