Jewish Art Dealers and the European Art Market c. 1850-1930, Online symposium, 6, 7 & 9 December 2021

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An online symposium organised by the Jewish Country Houses project in partnership with the National Trust and in collaboration with The Gilbert Collection and London Art Week

18.00 (GMT) / 13.00 (EST)


In conversation: Belonging and Betrayal - How Jews Made the Art World Modern

Charles Dellheim will be in conversation with James McAuley to discuss the publication of his new book, Belonging and Betrayal: How Jews Made the Art World Modern (Brandeis, 2021). 

The book turns the story of Nazi stolen art on its head by focusing on how, against all odds, certain Jewish outsiders came to acquire so many old and modern masterpieces in the first place. Stretching from the later-19th century to the present and spanning Europe and the United States, the narrative focuses on the rises and falls of a remarkable circle of dealers, collectors, and artists.


Charles Dellheim, Professor of History, University of Boston

James McAuley, Contributing Columnist for the Washington Post, Paris

Charles Dellheim is professor of History at Boston University. His work has explored varied areas of cultural history and has written on subjects ranging from architecture, painting, and company cultures to politics, literature, and baseball. He has held fellowships from the national endowment for the Humanities, Harvard University's graduate school of Business, and the University of Pennsylvania's Center from advanced Judaic studies. His previous publications include The Face of the Past: The Preservation of the Medieval Inheritance in Victorian England and The Disenchanted Isle: Mrs. Thatcher's Capitalist Revolution

James McAuley is Global Opinions contributing columnist focusing on French and European politics and culture, The Washington Post. He holds a PhD in French history from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He recently published The House of Fragile Things, exploring the central role that art and material culture played in the assimilation and identity of French Jews in the fin-de-siècle.


18.00 (GMT) / 13.00 (EST)


Portrait of a Family: Sargent's Wertheimers

Jean Strouse will be in conversation with Caroline Corbeau-Parsons about her forthcoming book on the art dealer Asher Wertheimer and the artist John Singer Sargent, who painted twelve portraits of Wertheimer's family.

The Wertheimers are intriguing because of their prominence in British art dealing and also because of the famous portraits of Asher Wertheimer and his family painted by the American artist John Singer Sargent between 1898 and 1908. A glimpse into the life and times of an extraordinary family and an extraordinary artist.


Jean Strouse, Independent scholar and writer, New York

Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, Curator of Drawings at Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Jean Strouse is the author of Morgan, American Financier and Alice James, A Biography, which won the Bancroft Prize in American History. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She served as director of the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library from 2003-2017. Her new book, about John Singer Sargent's twelve portraits of the London art dealer Asher Wertheimer and his family, will be published in 2022.


Caroline Corbeau-Parsons is a curator and art historian. She gained her PhD at King's College London, and started her career as Senior Editor of the catalogue raisonné of the portrait painter Philip de László. In 2012, she joined Tate Britain, where she was Curator of British Art, 1850-1915 until this summer. Caroline curated the display currently on view at Tate Britain on Sargent's Wertheimer portraits. She returned to her native France this summer and is now Curator of Drawings at the Musée d'Orsay.



18.00 (GMT) / 13.00 (EST)


The Jewish Contribution to Art Dealing in London

A roundtable discussion about the heritage of Jewish art and antiques dealerships in nineteenth and twentieth-century London. 


Martin Levy, Chairman of H. Blairman and Sons Ltd and member of the Spoliation Advisory Panel, UK

Cherith Summers, Director at Murphy & Partners, London

Alice Minter, Curator at the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Moderator: Thomas Marks, Writer and art critic, Associate fellow of The Warburg Institute, London and Trustee of Art UK

Martin Levy, FSA, is the fourth-generation head of H. Blairman & Sons, Ltd., the antiques concern based in London, founded by his great-grandfather Harris Blairman in Llandudno, North Wales, in 1884. Known internationally as an authority in Nineteenth Century English and Continental design, Levy is a past chairman of the British Antique Dealers Association, and member of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art (1997-2007). Levy is currently Chairman of Decorative Arts Society and of the Kelmscott Campaign Group. He is also a member of the board of The Gilbert Trust for the Arts and a trustee of The Emery Walker Trust.

Cherith Summers works as an art advisor, and has been working on projects relating to emigré gallerists and the Hanover Gallery since completing a biography of Erica Brausen for her Master's Thesis. She co-curated Brave New Visions: The émigrés who transformed the British art world in 2019, together with Sue Grayson Ford, MBE. She has an MA in Art History and English, and an MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies from the University of St Andrews.

Alice Minter joined the V&A as Curator of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection in July 2018. Prior to that, she worked for 10 years at Sotheby's London as specialist in silver and gold boxes. Alice has co-curated the display: Concealed Histories: Uncovering the story of Nazi Looting Art (V&A, December 2020 - January 2021), and curated the exhibition Masterpieces in Miniature: Treasures from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection, currently touring in China.

Thomas Marks is a writer and art critic. He is currently an Associate Fellow at the Warburg Institute, London, and was Editor of Apollo from 2013-21. He has contributed to numerous publications, among themProspect, LiteraryReview and the TLS, and continues to write a monthly column for Apollo about the relationship between art and food. Marks is a trustee of Art UK, the cultural education charity that exists to democratise the UK's public art through digitisation and storytelling.


The Jewish Country Houses project is based at the University of Oxford and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [grant number AH/S006656/1].


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