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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Medusa

Mythic, worshipped in ancient Greece, beginning circa 1600 B.C.E.

Medusa was one of the Gorgons, mythic female monsters, the only one who was described as a beautiful mortal woman. She was raped by Poseidon, god of the sea, in Athena’s temple, an act which so outraged the goddess that she transformed Medusa’s hair into snakes and decreed that her gaze would turn people to stone. While still pregnant by Poseidon, Medusa was beheaded in her sleep by Perseus and from her severed neck sprang two children, Pegasus and Chrysaor.

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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