The Life and Legacy of Edmond de Rothschild

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Exhibition curated by Helene Yentis (Graduate Student), Alice Schreyer (Director of Special Collections Research Center), and Valarie Brocato (Preservation and Exhibition Manager).

For nearly 150 years beginning in the 1780s, the Rothschild family was a dominant force in European economic and political history. From their beginnings in the Frankfurt ghetto, individual members of the Rothschild family were involved with the politics and culture of Germany, England, France, Austria, and Italy, expanding the boundaries of Jewish participation. Yet their wealth and power also fostered suspicion and resentment, much of it rooted in the anti-Semitism that was a more or less constant feature of the worlds they inhabited. This exhibition focuses on the career of Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934), the youngest son of James de Rothschild (1792-1868), who was himself the youngest son of the dynasty's founder, Meyer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812). Edmond de Rothschild's accomplishments highlight the powerful mix of finance, culture, philanthropy, and politics that the Rothschild family established as a model of success in the modern era. This exhibition draws on books, pamphlets, prints, cartoons, caricatures, and other materials, primarily from the Ludwig Rosenberger Library of Judaica, to present the Rothschild family background and the role of Edmond de Rothschild as supporter of Jewish settlements in Palestine and as collector. The Rosenberger Library in the Department of Special Collections brings together materials covering all aspects of European Jewish life. It is a particularly rich source for investigating topics that encompass social, political, and cultural history. For additional information, see the Library's Ludwig Rosenberger Library of Judaica Web site and the online Ludwig Rosenberger Collection of Judaica exhibition catalogue.