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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Athaliah

Biblical, reputedly flourished circa 840 B.C.E., Judah (modern-day Israel)

The Old Testament figure Athaliah was the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of Israel. She married King Jehoram of Judah, descendant of King David, a union which sought to secure peace between the two kingdoms. After Jehoram’s death, Athaliah ruled as queen of Judah from around 842 to 837 B.C.E., promoting, during this time, the worship of Baal rather than the Hebrew god Yahweh. Angered by this infidelity, Jehu, the king of Israel, had her son and extended family murdered; she in turn executed all possible descendants of David but one, Joash. He escaped and was raised by a priest, who several years later brought him forward as the rightful heir. A revolt organized in Joash’s favor culminated in Athaliah’s death.

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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