Country Houses, Jewish Homes

30 Mar 2023 - 27 May 2023
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10:30-16:00
Free admission, donations welcomed

Country houses are symbols of national identity, evoking the glamorous world of the landowning aristocracy. “Jewish” country houses tell a more complex story – of prejudice and integration, difference and belonging.

Our new exhibition Country Houses, Jewish Homes explores how Jews arrived in Britain, and fought for the right to acquire land and the political rights and social status that came with it. This was a society still structured by Christianity and dominated by the landed aristocracy. What did owning an English country house mean for immigrant Jewish families like the Rothschilds or the Sassoons? Was it easy to lead a Jewish life in the countryside? And what did those Jews who bought country houses both grand and small bring to the places they came to call home?

From the early struggles for religious equality in Georgian Britain to the rise of modern political antisemitism and the tragedy of the Holocaust, this exhibition illuminates what it means to be British, and the changing place of both Jews and the country house in British life.

This exhibition is curated by Abigail Green and Marcus Roberts and is part of the work of the ‘Jewish Country Houses’ project at the University of Oxford, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [grant number AH/S006656/1].

The exhibition is made up of the panels provided by the ‘Jewish Country Houses’ project and objects relating to local Country House, Worth Park.

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