From Homesteader to Art Collector: The Life and Times of Jacob Greenberg

From Homesteader to Art Collector: The Life and Times of Jacob Greenberg

By Robert Zaretsky

A remarkable man who "led an extraordinary life. " Leaving an equally impressive legacy as both an art collector and philanthropist, Jacob Greenberg's life, spanning most of the twentieth century, illuminates many unfamiliar yet fascinating facets to the American Jewish experience. After his birth on a homestead in the Badlands of North Dakota to Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Greenberg was fortunate to pursue intellectual studies, first at the progressive Mechanic Arts High School in St.

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Book Information

Publisher: Rodin Books
Publish Date: 11/14/2023
Pages: 144
ISBN-13: 9781957588186
ISBN-10: 1957588187
Language: English

Full Description

A remarkable man who "led an extraordinary life." Leaving an equally impressive legacy as both an art collector and philanthropist, Jacob Greenberg's life, spanning most of the twentieth century, illuminates many unfamiliar yet fascinating facets to the American Jewish experience. After his birth on a homestead in the Badlands of North Dakota to Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Greenberg was fortunate to pursue intellectual studies, first at the progressive Mechanic Arts High School in St. Paul, then the University of Minnesota, and Columbia University. He focused on economic geography, and upon graduation, he served an apprenticeship at the Sears headquarters in Chicago under the transformative direction of Julius Rosenwald. Determined to follow his own star, Greenberg left his mark, and made his fortune, first in the garment industry in rural Oklahoma then in the energy industry in Tennessee and Texas. In the 1990s, Jacob and his wife Joyce embarked on a new project: the Jewish Heritage Program, which protects and restores Jewish sites throughout the world. Zaretsky's fine biography of this extraordinary man explores the dark history of anti-Semitism in this country, and the struggles and successes of the Eastern European Jews who fled hostilities in their homeland only to find further blockades in the land of opportunity. "While the arc of the lives of Joyce and Jacob Greenberg will sound familiar, as hard-working individuals who found success in post-war America, that familiarity masks the exceptional characters of these individuals. Highly intelligent and disciplined, culturally sophisticated and eternally curious, the Greenberg's have lived life to the fullest, while leaving lasting legacies to the nation."--Gary Tinterow, Director, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston "Zaretsky vividly sets the life of one (extra)ordinary man into the American twentieth century in the context of immigration, anti-Semitism, and assimilation; capitalism, education, and philanthropy. A secular Jew who moved and worked in assimilated America, Jacob Greenberg lived a rich life grounded in a deep sense of the ethical imperatives of the Jewish tradition."--Martha T. Roth, Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor, Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures (OI), Dept. of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, and the College, The University of Chicago "The story of the remarkable of life of Jacob Greenberg reflects a passion for global culture and history witnessed through decades of travel and a dedication to preserving heritage. Jacob and Joyce Greenberg's generous support of World Monuments Fund's Jewish Heritage Program during its early years, played a transformative role in restoring several synagogues across Europe and beyond, and provided a strong foundation for this important initiative that continues to preserve and protect Jewish heritage around the world."--Bénédicte de Montlaur, President and CEO of World Monuments Fund

About the Author

Robert Zaretsky 's books include Boswell's Enlightenment , A Life Worth Living, Catherine & Diderot, and The Subversive Simone Weil , the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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