We salute you Madame D’Ora
Dora Kallmus, a.k.a. Madame d’Ora, was a swashbuckling shutterbug, prolific image maker and protofeminist. Hailing from Austria with outposts in Paris and Vienna, her vibrant portraits of twentieth-century artists, intellectuals and avant-gardians are important and interesting testaments to our cultural milieu. She was a kind of contemporary bodhisattva, able to capture the private lives, pretty people and movers and shakers of the times with the cunning click of her camera. Her fetching photographs of oddballs, established figures and eminent editrixes such as Josephine Baker, Karl Kraus and Gustav Klimt are inventive, engaging and precocious. She was one of the first photographers to focus on modern art, abstract dance and cutting-edge fashion, particularly after the 1920s, when fashion photography and film started to replace hand drawings and doodles in the era’s glossies. She captured the siren style of her clients and friends, including designer Coco Chanel, art deco paint-slinger Tamara de Lempicka, the novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette and performer Maurice Chevalier. Madame D’Ora was a frontline photographer to be sure, an ace tastemaker, anthropologist, and chronicler of the zeitgeist. You can’t mention true innovation in the arts without mentioning Madame D’Ora. Check out some of her token images below.
More Madam D’Ora pics here