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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Arachne

Mythic, worshipped in ancient Greece, dates vary, beginning circa C.E. 8

Arachne, a Greek weaver who appears in Ovid’s poem Metamorphoses (C.E. 8), angered Athena, the patron goddess of weaving, by bragging that her skills were greater than the deity’s. When Athena challenged her to a competition, Arachne chose to weave scenes of Zeus’ infidelities to Hera. Incensed by her boldness, Athena destroyed Arachne’s tapestry, smashed her loom, and cursed her with guilt. When the poor girl hanged herself, Athena took pity on her, loosened the rope, and transformed her into a spider.

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). <em>The Dinner Party</em> (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
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

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