The Josephsons – a remarkable family chronicle

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2011.12.02 – 2012.09.16

The Josephson family has demonstrably left its mark on the cultural life of Sweden; as well as on several other areas of life in our country. Among the numerous members of the family special mention may be made of David, Salomon, Jacob Axel, Ludvig, Ernst, Erik, Ragnar, Gunnar, Erland, Harriet, Inger, Olle and Ludvig, all of whom we meet in the present exhibition.

It was surely Beata Josephson, née Levin (1791-1859) who was decisive in promoting the family’s cultural interests. She married the original immigrant David Josephson’s son Salomon. Beata was widowed at an early age and faced the difficult task of supporting ten children between the ages of two and twenty. Despite her family duties, Beata organized musical soirées in her home and the performers even included Jenny Lind. Beata’s seven sons were the ancestors of the extensive family of Josephson descendants that we know today.

The Josephsons’ Jewish heritage has manifested itself to different degrees among members of the family over eight generations. In general the Josephson family has lived a life of assimilation, though there has been an evident Jewish consciousness among many of the members.

With the exhibition “The Josephsons – a remarkable family chronicle”, the Jewish Museum in Stockholm sheds light on Swedish-Jewish history through the eyes of a single family. The Josephson family story contains many striking characters that, taken together, weave a remarkable chronicle. There is a tremendous vitality attaching to the Josephson family with successful businessmen, extraordinary artistic talent and individual commitment in various sectors of society. Just think how inordinately much richer Sweden has become thanks to the Josephsons immigrating, integrating and contributing to the life of our country.

The Jewish Museum in Stockholm would not have been able to create this exhibition without the generous support of the family and we are indebted to various members for the loan of the unique treasures that are displayed in the exhibition. Several of these items have never previously been shown to the public.

We welcome you to “The Josephsons – a remarkable family chronicle” in the sincere hope that it will stimulate your curiosity and inspire further reflection and discussion.

Yvonne Jacobsson
Director

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Walking through the exhibition

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