Essay Sample on Exploring the Hanukkah Lamp & Kitchen Ball at North Carolina Museum of Art

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  853 Words
Date:  2023-04-08


The contains a variety of art which ranges from paintings to sculptures. Two such pieces of art are the Hanukkah Lamp and the Kitchen Ball at White Sulphur Springs, Virginia. The Hanukkah Lamp is a five-foot-high standing lamp for a Synagogue made in Eastern Europe. In the museum, it is found in the Judaic Art Gallery. The lamp is a copper alloyed one cast, machine-turned, engraved, punched, partly gilded gift of Thomas and Louis done in the loving memory of Arthur Sandman. The lamp was acquired in April at the Sotheby's auction of the celebrated Judaica Collection of Judy and Michael Steinhardt.

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The Kitchen Ball at White Sulphur Springs, Virginia is a painting that dates back to the year 1938 done by Christian Friedrich Mayr. It is an oil on canvas painting with dimensions 24 x 29 1/2 in. (61 x 74.9 cm) Frame: 32 1/2 x 38 1/4 x 4 1/2 in. (82.6 x 97.2 x 11.4 cm) purchased with funds from the state of North Carolina. The painting is signed at the left-center, at the left-center: C. Mayr. White Sulphur Springs/1838; on verso of the canvas (per Nicholson Gallery, now covered by canvas lining): C. Mayr from New York, N. A. This paper seeks to evaluate and appreciate the two pieces of art and give further views on the message the two portray.

The Hanukkah Lamp was acquired as part of three acquisitions which were amongst the most important pieces of the Steinhardt collection (Thomas and Louise, 2020). The lamp dates back to the time before the Second World War and was a common feature of many Jewish synagogues in the cities. The lamp was placed at the front of the sanctuary near the Ark and took the peculiar form of the Menorah, a name used to describe the branched candelabrum of the Hebrew temple found in Jerusalem. The Lamp has a shape of decorative branches with alternating blossoms and buds are similar to the biblical menorah as narrated in the book of Exodus. The lamp also has stylized flowers that encircle the central shaft.

The Lamp has a crowned eagle which appears to be a later addition surmounting it. The eagle is thought to have replaced a certain emblem which was a sign of loyalty and changed when the allegiance changed and political boundaries were affected. The eagle seems to tell a story of its own inside the general story of the lamp. The lamp is used to celebrate Thanksgiving and it is treasured by the local Jewish communities. The lamp is used to commemorate the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem and each of the nine branches has its meaning.

The Kitchen Ball at White Sulphur Springs, Virginia is an ancient brightly colored painting with people who appear to be at a party (Mayr, 2020). The people in the painting appear to be happy and there is evidence of a bride and a groom, supposedly getting married. According to the lighting in the photo, it appears like the party is taking place at night. There is implied motion in the picture in which the people appear to be dancing to a tune while some are relaxed. The artist of the painting has used color to achieve balance in the picture and by thus doing able to pass his message across. There is a symmetrical balance whereby the people shown in the painting are evenly distributed in the painting. Symmetrical balance is evidenced as the people are equally distributed throughout the painting. The painting is the ground close range on as it focusses on the group of people in the room.

The artist of the painting has also used lighting to highlight the importance of the group of people in the painting. The lighting around the bride and the groom is bright while the light on the other guests is a little dim. That signifies that the two are the most important in the painting because the party or whatever they are celebrating is theirs. The painting is a capture of the slave wedding that was attended by slave owners who brought their slaves to attend the wedding. Through the painting, the artist portrays the leniency of the slave owners to their slaves by allowing them to attend the wedding. Nevertheless, they still use the slaves for their gains thereby exploiting them.


In conclusion, the two pieces of art pass across different messages to the people who view them. The Hanukkah Lamp is used to commemorate the rededication of the temple while at the same time encouraging loyalty to the Jewish Religion. The Kitchen Ball at White Sulphur Springs, Virginia is used to spread the campaign against slavery artistically. The artist has used it to show the treatment subjected to slaves by the slaveowners and the impacts. The two pieces of art go a great way into showing that art apart from entertaining can also be used to store history and educate.

Works Cited

North Carolina Museum of Art. Museum label for Thomas G, and Louise J, The Hanukkah Lamp. Raleigh, NC, 24 February, 2020.

North Carolina Museum of Art. Museum 838, label for Christian Friedrich Mayr, The Kitchen Ball at White Sulphur, Virginia Raleigh, NC, 24 February, 2020.

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Essay Sample on Exploring the Hanukkah Lamp & Kitchen Ball at North Carolina Museum of Art . (2023, Apr 08). Retrieved from

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