Jewish objects in a time of crisis: Cecil Roth as collector

Jun 8, 2020 08:00 PM BST
Cecil Roth began researching in Italy in the 1920s, during a double crisis: Jews were abandoning tradition and emptying their family’s attics of old documents, and Mussolini was rising to power. Cecil Roth had begun to collect what he could: family bibles, wedding poems, song books, communal records. In the 1930s and 40s, Roth was among the first to recognise the needs to ‘rescue’ Jewish treasures from ‘cultural genocide”. In our presentation, we will think about the joys and challenges of some of Roth’s objects, and about the vital importance of material objects for reconnecting with history.

This is a talk organised jointly by Milim and the Leeds branch of the Jewish Historical Society of England.

Eva Frojmovic is an art historian at the University of Leeds with a strong interest in Jewish art and heritage. She directs the University of Leeds Centre for Jewish Studies.

Jay Prosser is reader in humanities at the University of Leeds. His areas include cultural memory and Jewish Studies.

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