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Hanukkah Lamp

Hanukkah Lamp

Miracle

Lyn Godley (American, b. 1956)
Blandon, Pennsylvania, United States, 2004
  • Light boxes and power source; Light sources: flicker bulbs, backlit sculpted vinyl, electroluminescent panels, fiber optics, electroluminescent wire, vinyl overlay diffuser panels, LED lights, backlit digital imagery, light bulbs, and rope lighting
  • Installation approximately: 72 x 156 in. (182.9 x 396.2 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Jewish Museum Centennial Commission; Purchase: Nancy and Jeffrey Lane and Cheryl and Michael Minikes Gift in honor of Phyllis Mack, 2005-1a-j
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Hanukkah Lamp

Miracle

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Miracle

CLOSE LOOKING / VISUAL ANALYSIS:

  • Describe what you see. What do you think this object is? How big do you think it is?

  • How is this Hanukkah lamp similar to others you have seen? How is it different?

  • In this installation, each time another light is illuminated, a new source of light is added. Why do you think the artist used nine different types of light?

  • Notice the shapes and colors of the lights in this work. What do they look like to you?

  • This installation stretches 11 feet across one wall of a darkened room. How do you think that affects the impact of the work? How would it be different if it were only a foot across?




FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION:

After giving students ample opportunity to examine this installation, lead them in a discussion of related topics and themes:

  • Godley calls her installation Miracle. Why do you think she chose that name?

  • Hanukkah is not only about miracles. It is also about celebrating light in the winter. Light is often used as a metaphor for other things (for example, knowledge, life, the Torah). What does light symbolize for you?

  • Godley's work uses electric lights. Do electric lights have a different meaning or significance than candles or oil lamps? Why?