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18 November 2017

Austrian fashion photographer of the early/mid-20th century Madame d'Ora in exhibition at MKG Hamburg

From 21 December 2017 until 18 March 2018 at the exhibition of the work and life of photographer Madama d'Ora aka Dora Philippine Kallmus 'Madame d'Ora - Make Me Beautiful!', MKG Hamburg (Germany) will provide

  • insights into the circle of trendsetting culture producers of the Wiener Werkstätte with portraits such as the one of Emilie Flöge (image right) who counts to the most important personalities of Austrian fashion design history,
  • give a glimpse of the effects of times before, during and after World War II - especially the effects on the situation of Jewish citizens,
  • will show the beginning of illustrated press and fashion photography from the 1910s,
  • and the turn of the society and fashion photographer to photo journalism.

fig.: Atelier d'Ora
Fashion designer Emilie Flöge wearing a dress with Kolo-Moser-motifs, 1908; gelatin silver print, 29,6 x 22 cm; © Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.

Dora Philippine Kallmus, born 1881 in Vienna, was the first woman who was allowed to visit theory lectures at the Graphischen Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt in Vienna (biography). From the late 1910s at the beginning of the illustrated press, society photographer Madame d'Ora worked additionally as fashion photographer for various magazines and depicted fashion by Wiener Werkstätte and later - during the times she lived in Paris, by French couture houses like Balmain or Balenciaga. After Madame d'Ora's escape from Paris in 1940, she was forced to hide at the country side before she returned in 1945 to Austria where Dora Kallmus started her photo journalistic work with the photographic report about refugee camps nearby Vienna.

fig.: Madame d'Ora (1881-1963)
Madame de La Haye-Jousselin in a riding costume à la Elisabeth of Austria by Pierre Balmain, 1955; gelatin silver print, 26,8 x 19,7 cm; © Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.

Annotation on 26 December 2017: 'Make Me Beautiful, Madame d'Ora' is on view from 13 July until 29 October 2018 at Leopold Museum in Vienna.

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