How Elihu Yale Made His Fortune in India and Founded Yale University

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Caroline Wiess Law Building, Brown Auditorium

Presented by historian and gem expert Benjamin Zucker, co-author of “Elihu Yale: Merchant, Collector & Patron” A book signing follows the lecture.

This lecture (traces the remarkable story of the Welsh merchant for whom Yale University is named. Elihu Yale (1649–1721) became governor of the British East India Company and made a fortune trading in diamonds, including some that were used in jewelry similar to the objects in the exhibition Arts of Islamic Lands: Selections from The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait. He eventually amassed a collection of some 10,000 rare items, including Indian gems, furniture, and textiles.

In 1718, Yale donated the proceeds from selling a portion of his collection to establish an endowment at a college in New Haven, Connecticut, dedicated to preserving the traditions of European liberal education in the New World. The school, renamed Yale College, is now Yale University.
Tickets - $5.00 MFAH Members, $10.00 Non-Members