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The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer [Deckle Edge] Hardcover – February 7, 2012
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“Fascinating, ambitious, exhaustively researched . . . A mesmerizing tale of art and the Holocaust.”
—The Washington Post
“Writing with a novelist's dynamism, O'Connor resurrects fascinating individuals and tells a many-faceted, intensely affecting, and profoundly revelatory tale of the inciting power of art and the unending need for justice.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Part history and part mystery, The Lady in Gold is a striking tale.”
“The dazzling, nearly surreal ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I’ is about a lot more than just art. O'Connor captures the whole story.”
“Every stolen painting has a story. The tale behind this one is epic.”
—Christian Science Monitor
“A fascinating book.”
—Dallas Morning News
“[An] evocation of a beautiful, vanished world.”
—Women's Wear Daily
“Fascinating tale of beauty, terror, loss and remembrance reveals a deeper truth beneath the golden surface.”
—Jonathan Lopez, Associated Press
“O'Connor has told an important story.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Encapsulates a fascinating, complicated cultural history of fin-de-siècle Vienna, its Jewish intelligentsia, and their near complete destruction by the Nazis....vividly evokes... how she became entwined with the charismatic, sexually charged, and irreverent Klimt...poignant and convincing...”
“Ignites many a startling flashpoint in the moral history of our time—a taut, rich, tangy and instructive read.”
“Gripping in details and drama.”
—The Los Angeles Times
“Intricately webbed and shocking tale of this iconic work.”
From the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The book captures the richness and liveliness of the lives of wealthy and cultured Jews of Vienna,as O'Connor calls it, the "equivalent of a 1960s happening." The cast of characters wandering through the story includes Arnold Schoenberg, Alma Mahler, Gustav Mahler, Oskar Kokoschka and even Freud. Bloch-Bauer, the self-proclaimed atheist and socialist resides in the middle of this privileged life smoking cigarettes and spending long periods posing for Klimt. The exquisite painting, The Lady in Gold was created in those sittings.
This Utopia is shattered by Hitler's march into Vienna and although both Klimt and Adele are dead, their friends and relatives are confronted with a dystopia no one could imagine. As various Bloch-Bauer relatives are escaping, hiding or dying, the Nazis are looting massive amounts of art, homes, businesses and personal possessions, including The Lady In Gold.
Adele's niece, Maria Altmann, comes onto the scene as a Holocaust survivor from Vienna, a dress shop owner in Beverly Hills and one of the real heirs to the Klimt paintings. Next, Randol Shoenberg enters the picture as Maria Altmann's lawyer who fights to get the paintings returned. Skillful writing makes the transition from cultured and wealthy Vienna, to the Holocaust, to new life in California surprisingly smooth and it seems perfectly natural that another generation of Schoenbergs and Bloch-Bauers from another country and another century figure into this well researched history.Read more ›
This book was well written. Had so much new information and made so many meaningful connections for me. When I read about Austria turning the painting over to the heirs, I cried even though I obviously knew the outcome.
So, Thank You Ms. O'Connor from a Secessionist obsessed never quite made it art historian. You gave me a great week of reading.
And then, O'Connor tells another story entirely; how the Nazis systematically stole millions of dollars in homes, furniture, silver, businesses, and artwork from their Jewish victims and, after losing the war, brazenly tried to keep everything they had stolen. In Austria, when Adele's family tried to reclaim their homes and valuable works of art, the government simply refused. People found that history was being re-written. Austrians were no longer part of Hitler's killing machine, but were portraying themselves as his victims! One woman, the great-niece of Adele, was not willing to accept the status quo. Maria Altmann found an attorney who also had ties to pre-war Vienna who had the courage to fight to reclaim the family's stolen art.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From opulence to mass murder, this story would almost make a better read if it wasn't true. Hauntingly accurate. Sadly profound.Published 17 hours ago by Rita K. Carver
Vienna (Wien) Austria captgured from the 20s to the 70s, especially graphic as the Nazi Anschluss; essential for history students, and what happens to Jews whether orthodox or... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Linda Faison
Better story than the movie I watched, which inspired me to seek out the book.Published 7 days ago by judith
Wonderful book that documents the history of the art and community of austria from the early 20th century through the war. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Ritaz
This is a fascinating book. It is not an easy read but is worth your time to persevere. The book is a promise to tell the story of Gustav Klimt and his best known painting of... Read morePublished 27 days ago by A Rochester
Saw the movie this book was based on, "Woman In Gold" and just had to read the book. The book obviously gives more detail and stories behind the characters in the film. Read morePublished 28 days ago by J. Pierce
An interesting account of history and art with a good account of the rise of Hitler and the devistation of the Jewish communities.Published 1 month ago by marjory carlson