The Haunting Story Behind One Of Gustav Klimt’s Most Famous Paintings

Maria Altmann was in her ‘80s when she entered into a legal battle with the Austrian government in order to reclaim Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” and other Nazi-plundered Klimt paintings.

The artwork had been stolen from her family’s home after she escaped from Austria as a Jewish refugee of the Holocaust during World War II. Never certain she would even live to see a verdict, Altmann’s fight wasn’t about money or revenge. According to her, she simply wanted to preserve the truth of what had happened to her family.

So the history goes, the paintings in question were originally confiscated by Nazi authorities from Altmann’s uncle, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, and acquired by the state of Austria following German occupation. When Altmann began her fight, in the late 1990s, the portrait of Bloch-Bauer’s wife Adele had already made its way to the Galerie Belvedere in Vienna, where it was known by a colloquial moniker, “Women in Gold,” to obscure the subject’s Jewish heritage.

Shrouded in mystery until Altmann spoke out, the painting had come to be known as Austria’s “Mona Lisa.” Read on here. 

We went to the Neue Galerie to see the Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. I was really excited to see it because I teach about the case. If you don’t know the story, the portrait was among artwork taken from the Bloch-Bauers by the Nazis and after many decades Adele Bloch-Bauer’s niece won its return to the family. It had been on display in an Austrian museum. When Austria had to give the painting back, some Austrian schoolchildren made drawings of Adele Bloch-Bauer in America, and these are also displayed in the Neue Galerie. And some of them are AMAZING. I’m going to post a bunch of them. Savior Adele Bloch-Bauer if you don’t want to see. 

A pirate pun, you guys. Adele, in America, is a pirate. 

My favorite part about this one is the cross at the top of the mountain. AMERICA: THEY’RE CRAZY ABOUT CROSSES, RIGHT? 

On your left, you have an amusement park. On your right, you have Hollywood. In between: America. 

Water Serpent, Gustav Klimt.
Having watched The Woman In Gold last night I found myself googling Klimt and came across a few paintings I had seen before. I hope to see Adele Bloch Bauer’s portrait in the flesh when we visit New York in June.

i watched woman in gold a bit ago and beyond crying quite a few times at the end i was quite excited to have maybe a new addition to my cabinet of “actors i find immensely attractive” but looking him up im very disappointed that he doesnt normally have very black and curled hair and to find he’s english, which explains why with the black and curly hair he had a certain “daniel radcliffe” quality to him

Three Perspectives. Adele Bloch-Bauer II, completed in 1912 by Gustav Klimt, MoMA, New York City. Photo taken December 1, 2014. I just got back from a screening of Woman in Gold, a film about the successful restitution of five Gustav Klimt paintings that were confiscated from the Bloch-Bauer family during the 1938 Nazi Anschluss (Annexation) of Austria. The more famous portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, is housed in the Neue Gallerie right across from the Met. #art #Klimt #NewYorkCity #streetphotography by st.fidgeta

The Woman In Gold, or Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer

It’s hard to put my feelings after seeing this film into words, but it seems very important that I try.

First a small backstory.

I am a Jewish woman. A lot of friends reading this are probably thinking, “No, you aren’t! You’re Swedish!” Or maybe you’ve known me long enough that you remember me being very vocal about my efforts to find out more about my father’s mother, only to suddenly stop…

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Look at my new article - Ignore the Critics: Woman in Gold Shines Brightly

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Ignore the Critics: Woman in Gold Shines Brightly

By Lev Raphael

I went to see Woman in Gold because I’m a Helen Mirren fan and have admired the Gustav Klimt painting at its heart since college, but wasn’t aware that it had been widely panned by critics until fellow Second Generation writer Helen Epstein deplored the reviews this past week.

For those who don’t know the story the film tells, it revolves around an Austrian Jewish woman living in America who’s trying to get back Gustav Klimt paintings stolen from her family by the Nazis, decades after the Holocaust war. But these aren’t just valuable family heirlooms, one of them is world-famous and a portrait of her beloved aunt that the Austrians think of as their Mona Lisa:

(Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, Neue Galerie New York)

I was gripped by the movie from the very beginning. Helen Mirren’s flinty exterior reminded me of German and Austrian Jews I grew up around in Washington Heights (or met elsewhere in New York) and her accent sounded perfect to my ear. Her fussiness, her occasional lack of tact also seemed just right.

The sad sack lawyer taking her case is played by Ryan Reynolds and he seemed an ideal foil. He’s READ MORE HERE

Via:: Huffington Post – Entertainment News


Finally an Art Tax Story You Can Feel Good About

Finally an Art Tax Story You Can Feel Good About

Eva Rosenberg is a tax columnist for Marketplace and the child of Holocaust survivors. After viewing the new movie about the restitution of Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, she thought through some interesting tax issues. It turns out that the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), contains language saying there is no federal income tax on restitution received…

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Lady In Gold

The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer By Anne-Marie O’Conner

Perhaps stolen paintings weren’t the worst tragedy of World War II. But for Hubertus Czernin, the art was a publicly visible symbol of Austria’s failure to indemnify its murdered and wronged Jewish citizens. Lost lives could not be recovered. But paintings could be returned…

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Gustav Klimt- Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I

Egon Schiele-Portrait of Karl Zakovsek

Unknown Artist-Havajra

anonymous asked:

who are some of your favorite artists (as in artwork) and pieces

I was raised by two parents who are both in love with Klimt so naturally I am also in love with his work (specifically Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, which is what my icon is roughly based on). My grandmother on my dad’s side taught me about the pre raphaelite painters, specifically John William Waterhouse. She would always call me her “Mariana” because I reminded her of the painting by him called Mariana in the South. As of an artist I love without any family member who has inspired that love, Van Gogh continues to be my favorite artist in the world due to not only his amazing pieces but his endearing life. I could go on for hours but I’ll leave it at this. (I also love every artist I’ve ever reblogged so if you’re looking for new ones I reblog a lot of them.)

Movie Review: Woman in Gold

If last year’s dud “The Monuments Men” couldn’t manage to be engaging, it at least did one service: it made Joe Cinemagoer aware of the scale of Nazi art plundering during World War II. To service Hitler’s insane dreams of purging the world of any art the Nazis objected to, hundreds of thousands of objects were stolen from all across Europe.

In “Woman in Gold”, high-ranking Nazis laugh and smile as they remove art from the walls of the Bloch-Bauer family house in Austria. This was part of their annexation of the country, and young Maria (Tatiana Maslany) can only watch helplessly as her family is destroyed, eventually fleeing the country with her husband Fredrick (Max Irons).

In the late 90’s, an elderly Maria is played by Helen Mirren, and is living in Los Angeles. Large in her thoughts after burying her sister is the Gustav Klimt painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, depicting her vivacious aunt who died before the Nazi conquest. She determines to get the painting, and other works, back from the Austrian government, which has officialized denial of its complicity with the Nazis and insists the paintings were given willingly. She enlists the help of a young, down-on-his-luck lawyer named Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), who also has Austrian roots but is more concerned with paying the bills for his wife (Katie Holmes) and two kids than with things that happened fifty years ago.

The Austrian government is primarily represented by Toman (Justus von Dohnányi), a representative of the gallery which holds the portrait of Adele. Every government official in the film is dead set against giving the art back; they argue the portrait especially is essential to the Austrian identity, though they do it in the manner of a businessman trying to protect their investment. Against this, Maria and Randy’s only ally is journalist Hubertus Czernin (Daniel Brühl), who tells them that new promises of art restitution to victims are only PR and that the Austrians will never give up the paintings.

Even if you go in knowing zip, as I did, the outcome of the case is obvious, or there wouldn’t be a movie about it. What’s most interesting here is getting a rare filmic story not about war, but about the long-reaching consequences therein. I suspect most people tend to assume that World War II and Nazism are mostly in the past, but the uncomfortable truth is it was the defining event of the 20th century, and there will probably be unresolved issues stemming from it for another century to come. The movie works as personal drama, too: I can’t recall Mirren ever doing bad work, and here she walks a fine line. Her Maria is just fiery enough to have our sympathy and our applause, while never veering too far into the “sassy old lady” trope. Reynolds plays Schoenberg as a straight man, which is the right call: Maria is the star, and when vindication comes, it is hers.

The movie’s one serious flaw is that the Austrian officials are not developed beyond 2D bureaucratic baddies. Director Simon Curtis and writer Alexi Kaye Campbell don’t seem at all interested in developing the connections between the events of the past and the state of Austria in the present, except to repeatedly have Mirren and Bruhl’s characters remind us that they are pigs. No time is given to explore how any of them see their past, or the case, or even if they think about these things at all. I understand there’s nothing audiences love to hate than stuffy suits denying even basic dignity to an underdog character, but when dealing with a topic as far-reaching and complex as the movie deals in, I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t more to that side of the story. After all, they were wrong, but being wrong doesn’t completely nullify someone’s POV.

The result is a moving story about a wronged woman being righted which doesn’t touch on the more in-depth nuances undoubtedly at play. It’s a great, brief look at the tale, and that coupled with Mirren’s performance means it isn’t time wasted. But it also makes me want to go look up the documentaries “Adele’s Wish” and “Stealing Klimt”, to get the facets of the story “Woman in Gold” doesn’t cover.

Verdict: Recommended

Note: I don’t use stars but here are my possible verdicts. I suppose you could consider each one as adding a star.

Highly Recommended
Not Recommended
Avoid like the Plague