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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Madame d'Ora

Feb 20 – June 8, 2020
1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, United States

In a self-portrait of 1929, the photographer Madam d’Ora looks into the lens from behind a reclining black cat, her face half hidden. All we see are her wary eyes, eyebrows so thin they seem pencilled on, and a cap of wavy dark hair. Dora Kallmus, born in 1881, became famous as Austria’s first professional female photographer. With studios in Vienna and Paris, celebrities of the day flocked to her camera, which always seemed to catch the essential. Gustav Klimt, Coco Chanel, Colette, Josephine Baker, Pablo Picasso, the list sails on. Neue Galerie presents the largest-ever U.S. exhibition of d’Ora’s work, tracking her life as the daughter of Jewish intellectuals, her rise to stardom in Paris, and her survival of the Holocaust. —L.J.

Madame d’Ora, “Elizabeth Strong-Cuevas in a costume by Pierre Balmain for her father’s party,” 1953 © Nachlass Madame d’Ora, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.