Thursday, March 19, 2015

‘Lincoln and the Jews’ at New-York Historical Society explores bonds with a nation’s growing minority

By Jennifer Schuessler
Alonzo Chappel’s 1867 painting of Abraham Lincoln on his deathbed is part of the exhibition "Lincoln and the Jews" at the New-York Historical Society. The work prominently features Dr. Charles Liebermann, a Russian-born Jewish ophthalmologist and a leading Washington physician, gazing intently at the president.
NEW YORK---“Lincoln played an important role in turning Jews from outsiders in America to insiders,” said Jonathan D. Sarna, a historian at Brandeis University and the author, with Mr. Shapell, of the new, separately published book “Lincoln and the Jews,” which inspired the show. “It’s a subject that has really been overlooked.” The show includes about 100 letters, photographs and other artifacts, many never previously exhibited, drawn largely from the Shapell Manuscript Collection, assembled by the collector and philanthropist Benjamin Shapell. Arranged chronologically, the exhibition presents the broader story of Lincoln’s political career and the Civil War through what organizers say is a fresh prism: Lincoln’s complex and sometimes surprising interactions with a religious minority that was beginning to claim an equal place in American life. [link]

New-York Historical Society: "Lincoln and the Jews," (Ends ); 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), New York; (212) 873-3400;