The Sassoons: An Architectural Heritage


Thursday, June 1, 2023
6:30 – 7:30 pm EDT
Scheuer Auditorium

James L. Weinberg Distinguished Lecture

When persecution forced David Sassoon to flee Baghdad in 1832, he settled in India, inaugurating a flourishing business empire that in the century to come would span the globe from Asia to the family’s new home in Britain. The legacy of this extraordinary saga can be traced through the hundreds of magnificent buildings they built in Baghdad, India, China, and the United Kingdom ranging from synagogues, hospitals, schools, libraries, housing for the working classes, and a home for senior citizens. These buildings, erected during the heyday of colonialism, tell a tale not only of entrepreneurial success, but also of civic engagement and cultural philanthropy. Explore this architectural legacy in a lecture by Esther da Costa Meyer, Professor Emerita at the Department of Art and Archeology at Princeton University and co-curator of The Sassoons

The James L. Weinberg Distinguished Lecture is made possible by the Marshall M. Weinberg Fund, with additional support from Marshall M. Weinberg.

About the Speaker: 

Esther da Costa Meyer is Professor emerita in the Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University, and Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture since 2017. An expert on modern and contemporary architecture, da Costa Meyer's book Dividing Paris: Urban Renewal and Social Inequality, 1852–1870 (Princeton University Press) came out in February 2022. Her curatorial work includes three exhibitions at the Jewish Museum: Schoenberg, Kandinsky and the Blue Rider, co-curated with Fred Wasserman, Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design (2016), and The Sassoons, co-curated with Claudia Nahson. More recently, she has turned her attention to environmental issues, and currently focuses on the architecture of refugee camps.

Tickets: $22 General; $15 Students and Seniors; $12 Jewish Museum members; Includes Museum Admission

Doors open at 6 pm, Includes Museum Admission

William Orpen (Irish, 1878–1931) The Drawing Room at 25 Park Lane, 1913. Oil on canvas; 19 × 23 ½ in. (48.3 × 59.7 cm) Private collection