From the Director
Welcome to Neue Galerie New York, a museum devoted to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design. This season, we are exceptionally proud to present “Madame d'Ora,” the largest museum retrospective on the Austrian photographer to date in the United States. Dora Kallmus (1881–1963), who took the professional name of Madame d’Ora, was an unusual woman for her time. Her first major success was in Vienna, where all the leading lights from the worlds of art—including painter Gustav Klimt and designer Emilie Flöge—high society, even the Imperial military commissioned portraits from her studio.
After moving to Paris in 1925, Kallmus befriended key figures in the fashion world, such as milliner Madame Agnès and the Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, as well as the top fashion magazine editors of her day. She also began to accompany the celebrities, including entertainer Maurice Chevalier, whose glamorous images she helped create and sustain. Kallmus managed to keep working until her death at the age of 82.
Forging a path in a field that was dominated by men, d’Ora enjoyed an illustrious 50-year career, from 1907 until 1957, between Vienna and Paris. I must admit that, as an émigré to New York from Vienna, I feel a certain kinship with this fascinating, independent, dog-loving woman. It takes considerable courage to leave one’s home and begin again in a new place. My admiration for her has only grown as I have learned more about her life and work.
We look forward to welcoming you to the museum for this extraordinary show.
With best wishes,
Director, Neue Galerie New York