Friday, March 25, 2005

German and Austrian Glamour Before World War II

There is an article in today's New York Times about an exhibit which has just opened in New York City. The article begins "Picture a glamorous gala attended by beauties, uglies, writers, thinkers, artists, loners, actors, dancers, politicos, social swans and maybe a dash of royalty, from the eventful years in Austria and Germany between the turn of the last century and the Anschluss that preceded World War II. . . . The feast of guests might include the very people depicted in 'Portraits of an Age: Photography in Germany and Austria, 1900-1938' at the Neue Galerie."

Among those depicted in the show is the silent film star Asta Nielsen - "in the kind of close-cropped haircut that signaled women's emancipation," as well as Francis Lederer - pictured below. Nielsen played Lulu in 1923 an earlier film version of Wedekind's play, while Lederer co-starred with Louise Brooks in G.W. Pabst's 1929 film of Pandora's Box. I am not sure if there is a catalog to the exhibit. But if there is, it might well be worth looking at.

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