CFP: Jewish dealers and the European Art Market (London, 14-15 Sep 20)

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, September 14 – 15, 2020
Deadline: Nov 24, 2019

Jewish dealers and the European Art Market, 1850-1930

We are looking for contributions to an international workshop on Jewish dealers and the European Art Market, 1850-1930, to be held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th September 2020. Thanks to the support of V&A curator Alice Minter, we are delighted that the workshop will be hosted by the Gilbert Collection, which is so rich in Jewish histories, and will include a preview of the Gilbert’s forthcoming display on provenance and spoliation.

Created in partnership with the National Trust, the workshop has been organised as part of the AHRC-funded project ‘The Jewish Country House: Objects, Networks, People’, and fits within the strand of the project focused on collecting and collections, co-ordinated by Tom Stammers (Durham University) and Silvia Davoli (curator at Strawberry Hill).

The theme of the workshop is Jewish dealers and their contribution to the development of the art market in Europe in the period c.1850-1930. We invite speakers to reflect on the mechanisms by which Jews were able to enter the art trade in the late nineteenth century and become influential within it; the commercial and familial bonds forged within and between Jewish businesses in the urban centres of Europe; and the nature of the relations between Jewish and non-Jewish actors, in order to illuminate any distinctive practices and the incidence of anti-Semitism. Dealers in a range of fields – from antiquities and furniture to paintings, rare books, ceramics and silver – will be considered. The workshop evaluates the importance of Jewish art dealers in educating the taste of their clients, promoting new aesthetic trends, and reshaping the broader reputation of the profession. Alongside academic researchers, we will also hear from specialists and historic firms still working in the sector in Britain and Europe today.

Papers should be 20 minutes long, and the project will be able to contribute to the costs of your travel and accommodation in London. We intend to publish select papers from this workshop and future events in edited volumes related to Jewish collections and collecting.

For further information about the workshop or expressions of interest, please contact Tom Stammers ( with a 200 word abstract for a potential paper. Closing date for proposals is Sunday, November 24th, 2019.