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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Leah

Biblical, exact dates uncertain, ancient Israel

The Old Testament figure Leah was the daughter of Laban, a shepherd who was visited by Jacob, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, in his search for a wife. He performed seven years of service for Laban in exchange for Rachel, the younger daughter, but Laban gave him Leah instead, saying it was customary to marry off the oldest daughter first. He wed Leah and then a week later married Rachel, both of whom were in competition to provide sons to Jacob throughout their lives. Leah bore many sons—in the Book of Genesis, she is recorded as the ancestor of five of the Twelve Tribes of Israel—while Rachel remained barren for most of her life, eventually conceiving two sons many years into the marriage.

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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