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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
An interesting account of history and art with a good account of the rise of Hitler and the devistation of the Jewish communities.Published 8 days ago by marjory carlson
This was a fascinating story from many points of view. It centers around one painting and covers the many who have been linked to the painting over the years. Read morePublished 9 days ago by avid reader
Florid overwrought style, gossipy tone, packed with useless, irrelevant details. Fascinating time and place, but I stopped reading after 100 pages. Just plain annoying writing.Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed this but I felt that the writing at times was poor and confusing. In parts, the book badly needed an editor. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Dale D. Wyatt
Very interesting story of a determined woman and how she succeeded in reclaiming some of her family's treasures.Published 16 days ago by Sile Bauriedel
The realities of history that tell of a world most of us can't imagine combined with details of atrocities committed in the name of ideology and self interest that are hard to... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Rod Moore
A really interesting book. I wanted to read after having seen the movie. I really enjoyed all the history and the story itself.Published 19 days ago by Katherine
What an extraordinary journey!! The author introduces you to all the main characters and draws you into their lives. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Kathie Mac