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April 11, 2021

Amazing Portrait Photography in the Early 20th Century by Dora Kallmus

Born 1881 in Vienna, Austrian fashion and portrait photographer Dora Kallmus became interested in the photography field while assisting the son of the painter Hans Makart, and in 1905, she was the first woman to be admitted to theory courses at the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (Graphic Training Institute). That same year she became a member of the Association of Austrian photographers. At that time she was also the first woman allowed to study theory at the Graphischen Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt, which in 1908 granted women access to other courses in photography.

Portrait photography in the early 20th century by by Dora Kallmus

In 1907, she established her own studio with Arthur Benda in Vienna called the Atelier d’Ora or Madame D’Ora-Benda. The name was based on the pseudonym “Madame d’Ora”, which she used professionally. D’ora and Benda operated a summer studio from 1921 to 1926 in Karlsbad, Germany, and opened another gallery in Paris in 1925.

Kallmus’ subjects included Josephine Baker, Coco Chanel, Tamara de Lempicka, Alban Berg, Maurice Chevalier, Colette, and other dancers, actors, painters, and writers.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see her amazing work from the early 20th century.

Gustav Klimt, 1907

Alban Berg, 1909

Emilie Flöge, 1909

Helene Jamrich with a hat from Zwieback, designed by Rudolf Krieser, 1909

Anna Pavlova, circa 1910s

Mileva Roller, 1910

Anna Pavlova, 1913

In the Zwieback Fashion House, 1913

Countess von Haugwitz-Széchényi, Countess Khevenhüller-Fürstenberg and Countess Marie Choloniewska serving in the Red Cross during the First World War, 1914

Archduke Karl and Archduchess Zita with their children Otto and Adelheid, 1915

Arthur Schnitzler, 1915

Alma Mahler, 1916

Bella Paalen, 1916

Anita Berber, 1920

Anita Berber, 1920

Jeanne Renouard, circa 1920s

Lili Damita, circa 1920s

Lilly Flohr, circa 1920s

Madeleine Renaud, circa 1920s

Magda Sonja, circa 1920s

Maria Corda, circa 1920s

Rita Georg, circa 1920s

Sisters G, circa 1920s

Vera Voronina, circa 1920s

Coco Chanel, 1923

Lucy Doraine, circa 1925

Barbette, 1926

Marlene Dietrich, circa 1927

Maurice Chevalier, circa 1927

Eric Barclay, circa 1928

Miss Florence, 1928

Charlotte Ander, circa 1929

Self-portrait of the photographer d’Ora, 1929

Harald Paulsen, circa 1930

Imperio Argentina, circa 1930s

Leila Bederkhan, 1930

Oskar Kokoschka in Paris, circa 1930

Tania Mirova, 1932

Tamara de Lempicka with a hat of Rose Descat, 1933

Madame Agnès with a hat made of velvet with transparent brim, circa 1936


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