File Size: 5448 KB
Print Length: 370 pages
Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (February 7, 2012)
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
The story starts close to the current when finally the Klimt painting was given over by Austria to the family of Adele in 2006. But then backwards in time we go to the late 19th century. To a cosmopolitan Imperial city - Vienna. A glorious Vienna where women of the " second society" (read: liberated, secular, wealthy Jews and non-aristocrats) were able to hold salons for the artists and authors who would never have been exposed to the general public or gained so much fame otherwise. But it was also frequented by the famous too. Mark Twain stopped by in the travels through Europe and received a warm pleasant from the people open up to modernity but was also vilified by the establishment. The first women doctor in Vienna frequented. The composers Mahler and Strauss frequented the hair salons and spas. And so did musicians, including Klimt. And while we get a great deal on the world of this society of the liberated Jews, we also a new lot about Klimt.
After recreating this world of artistic and mental ferment, yet , the publication turns dark. The Fall of the Habsburg Empire was a catastrophe for Imperial Vienna. No extended was Vienna the centre of a multicultural polyglot empire. Now it was only the capital of the rump state of Austria. And vastly reduced in population and fame. The book is part a biography of Klimt. Part a biography of Adele Bloch-Bauer (and the woman many relations). But it is also a biography of Vienna. And while the interwar years were not perfect for Vienna, the deepest darkness was still to come during the Anschluss. Now the modern society of the salons would be broken. And lost forever. The Nazis would attempt to erase the social brilliance from history. The particular names would attempt to be forgotten. The Germanification of Austria would leave no room for Jews or the part they played in making Vienna a capital of modern quality.
The Nazi years when your family scattered through Europe, the postwar period when Vienna was occupied by the four main Allies, the end of deNazification in '48 because Vienna was important to the West and was not going to be lost to the Communist Soviets are all discussed and the families that are the core of the book weather the tempests of time. Though not all make it. Some are lost to shooting squads. Some to committing suicide. Some to Concentration Campements. Some caused it to be through the Fascist years but concluded up killed by Tito's forces in Yugoslavia (part of the family got huge assets there). And after that the story continues in the new world where some of Adele's rejeton survived.
But it also continues in a unpleasant version of Austria. And the last part of the book discusses the collective amnesia. And how the Austrians now would not let any fine art leave the because fine art was section of the national social patrimony. However, many lesser works could leave if the owners whose works were stolen would agree to more valuable works keeping. This post-war Austria eventually succumbs to something better and so the story leads to the period when the stolen artworks commence to be reclaimed by the original owners's family members.
The book is a masterpiece of story showing. The author recreates the planet and makes you identify with these historical personages. For anyone who would like to know more about Austrian history, this is a great book to read. For anyone who loves history, this is a great book to read., Adele Bloch Bauer " The Lady in Gold" and her niece Maria Altman are smiling in Paradise now.
Their interesting lives of beauty, loss and remembrance reveals a deeper truth beneath the golden surface of the stolen art..
I actually applaud Maria for reclaiming her aunt's portrait from the Austrian museum and selling this well as the Klimt paintings for 300 milion nearly sixty years later!! And she failed to even get a new dishwaher witth the money the girl got according to the woman caregiver.
Maria's raiders of the lost fine art story is not " degenerate art". Art like mythology is an over arching frame of research that tells an person who they are and where they are proceeding.
During the reading, I started to ask myself how could these decent cultured Austrian people allow or think it was okay to collude with the Naziis in art theft from the Jewish people? Allied bombs came crashing into their opera houses and the art museums..
With regard to instance Gustav Mahler the director of the Vienna State Opera was a buddy of Hitlers? Exactly how could a cultured talented man become a friend of Hitler?
Maria also revealed that it was a secret that People in america were working with former Nazii's Dr. Herbert Wagner after WWII.
Some of Wagner and his scientists had performed abominable experiments on Jewish patients at concentration camps (P. 258-259)
Dr. Wagner and Werner von Braun another part of the SS were later used to help jumpstart NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA) in the United Declares, though that they had overseen servant labor functions where countless numbers have died. "
Maria Altman also explained that former Nazi chief excutive Baldur von Schirarch got served only 20 years and lived very long to be interviewed by Jesse Frost. His concluding tanda with Frost was a a quote from " Alice in Wonderland"?
Also, Maria reflected that her geheime staatspolizei minder Felix Landau was barely punished and resided for years in Bravaria as an interior designer. He loved fairytales and had a famous Hungarian painter paint fairytales on the walls of his child's personal nursery room.
I would wish to help these war criminal re story their lives with parables and art from the Bible rather than fairytales.
I have to agree with Adelle that art is surely an essential prism for comprehending the world and help people to see things differently.., This guide was much more than I actually expected. Our book club was reading it for the movie tie-in. The publication covers much more than film production company did. It covered background the culture from late 1800's through the legal battle to state the stolen art and the resulting conflicts. This is straightforward to fail to find a way out in the details, the many names and dates, the many relationships. That being said it is well worth the read. Many lessons here from history, including details many may never have learned, that mankind must always remember and pray is never repeated., The publication arrived promptly and in good condition. I am not finished reading it, but besides being a n interesting story about art, it is interesting as as well as book, piece of art in the people and events that are just mentioned as facts in textbooks.
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