Except that Annie never had to hide.

Once again another fabulous and informative art group outing. Dora Philippine Kallmus,  or Madame d’Ora as she was known shaped the Viennese Modernism like no other, snapping the artists and intellectuals at the turn of the century and beyond.

Arthur Schnitzler (writer) and Oskar Kokoschka (painter).

Through her familial connections she established studios in Vienna and Paris; and her achievements set the stage for other European women’s careers in photography. Because she had come from a wealthy family, d’Ora donated all of her earnings to charity, as well.

Her studio was notable among the Viennese elite and in 1916 she was asked to photograph the Hungarian coronation of King Charles IV and Queen Zita of Hungary.

She turned to fashion in the 1910s and often photographed the creations of Paris’ most chic and well-known hat designer, Agnes Rittener.

In Paris d’Ora’s Atelier gained contracts from the fashion magazines. Her Paris photographs include designer Coco Chanel; the writer Colette; the jazz singer Josephine Baker; and performer Maurice Chevalier, whom it was thought d’Ora was in love with.

But Madame d’Ora was Jewish. She sold her Paris studio soon after the invasion of the Germans in 1940 and hid in a cloister in the south of France, then later on a farm. Many of her family were killed in the Holocaust, including her sister Anna, who was deported from the family home in 1941.

By 1945 she documented the plight of refugees at a camp in Austria and in 1956, at the age of seventy-five, completed a vivid series of Paris slaughterhouses (that I did not snap because I found them too disturbing) perhaps to help her express her feelings about the brutality of the war she had suffered through.

Madame d’Ora’s last photograph, Pablo Picasso.

As a result of a motorcycle accident in 1959, d’Ora’s memory faded and she could no longer work. A kind neighbor had kept her family home that had been forcibly sold under the Nazis and returned it to her, where she lived out her remaining years.

Madame d’Ora died in 1963.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Second World War, however, sets a radical turning point in her work, which she had hitherto dedicated exclusively to the world of the beautiful. As a Jewish woman, Madame d’Ora fled from Paris to the Ardèche in 1940 and arrived in Austria in 1945, where she documented the fate of the refugees in 1945/1946 near Vienna. Here she is working for the first time as a social reporter. In 1950 and 1958 she creates two disturbing series about slaughterhouses that can be understood as an artistic reaction to the atrocities of the war.