Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Mabel

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

Mabel
Flourished mid-13th century, London and Bury St. Edmunds, England

Mabel of St. Edmunds, as she is identified in royal records, was an embroiderer in the employ of King Henry III (ruled 1216–72) of England. She is documented in a number of writs issued by the king for the production of ecclesiastical ornaments such as a chasuble, an offertory cloth, and a banner to be hung near the altar of Westminster abbey. Records indicate that she was an embroiderer of exceptional skill and received commissions from the king between the years 1239 and 1245. She then disappears from the rolls until 1256, when Henry III, on a visit to Bury St. Edmunds, ordered that she be given a gift of cloth and rabbit fur in recognition of her long service to the king and queen.

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