Jewish Women on the Map - Rosenbach Museum & Library
The Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia was founded by legendary book dealer A.S.W. Rosenbach and his brother and business partner Philip, whose ancestry connects to the Gratz Family - a prominent early American Jewish family who lived in Philadelphia - dating back to the eighteenth century. The Rosenbach brothers collected Gratz family items throughout their lifetimes, and the Rosenbach Museum has followed their lead by acquiring a number of additional Gratz items in the past several decades including many objects related to philanthropist, social activist, and Jewish leader Rebecca Gratz. The Rosenbach now has extremely important holdings of Gratz family portraiture, silver, furniture, ceramics, books and manuscripts related to the family.
In November 2010, the Rosenbach acquired two artistically and culturally significant portraits originally belonging to the Gratz Family, including a visually stunning portrait of Rebecca Gratz painted in 1831 by Thomas Sully, and a portrait of her brother, Joseph Gratz by George Peter Alexander Healy (not dated). Both portraits were originally painted in Philadelphia, and documentation suggests the portrait of Rebecca Gratz has not been displayed on public view since 1922 and the portrait of Joseph Gratz has never been exhibited. In addition to portraiture, the Rosenbach holds in its collection many other objects belonging to the Gratz family. Almost all of these objects have come to the Rosenbach from direct descendants of the Gratz family to be cared for by the museum and enjoyed by the public. Gratz objects on view in the Rosenbach Parlor include Rachel Gratz’s desk and bookcase filled with family books, Benjamin Gratz’s washstand, and Joseph Gratz’s grooming box.
The Rosenbach Museum & Library seeks to inspire curiosity, inquiry and creativity by engaging broad audiences in exhibitions, programs and research based on its remarkable and expanding collections. With an outstanding collection of rare books, manuscripts, furniture and art, the Rosenbach is a museum and world-renowned research library, set within two historic 1865 townhouses, that reflects an age when great collectors lived among their treasures. The museum is located at 2008-2010 Delancey Place in Philadelphia and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for students and free for children under 5. For more information, please call (215) 732-1600 or visit www.rosenbach.org.