The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer

The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer

by Anne-Marie O'Connor


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101873120
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 165,714
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Anne-Marie O’Connor attended Vassar College, studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a foreign correspondent for Reuters and a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times for twelve years, and has written extensively on the Klimt painting and the Bloch-Bauer family’s efforts to recover its art collection. Her articles have appeared in Esquire, The Nation, and The Christian Science Monitor. She currently writes for The Washington Post from Jerusalem, where her husband, William Booth, is Post bureau chief. 

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Excerpted from the Hardcover edition

Excerpted from "The Lady in Gold"
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Copyright © 2015 Anne-Marie O'Connor.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
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"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

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The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is a good example of life in vienna. wealth, culture,arts and the looming nazi takeover. it gives a human element to a spectacular painting and how life intertwines with it.. so many people were connected. the final outcome is good and we can hope that the future outcome of stolen treasures will benefit the true owners of these masterpieces. loved it!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
interesting as far as to the historical background of Vienna, its culture, artists, Nazi occupation and persecution of the Jews and theft of their art works. A bit too long
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you for stocking this excellent book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells the story of the artist Klimt and his most famous painting, The Lady in Gold which now hangs in the Neue Galerie on 5th Avenue in New York. The history of the painting is tragic and fascinating but the history of pre-war Vienna is perhaps the most important part of the book. It is a little hard to keep all the people and the interrelationships straight - I had to draw a schematic to do this. But this is an important book and highly recommended to everyone who is interested in history and art.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally an author that writes above a high school leval.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting read full of nice factoids and back story. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The scholarship of MS O'Connor is evident from the first page to the last.  "Lady In Gold,"  gives an excellent portrait of time and place.  A reader is swept along in the descriptions of the lifestyle of pre-WW2 Vienna, and the salons of the elegant Adele Bloch-Bauer. Among the guests present would be famous authors,  including, Mark Twain.  And artists, such as Gustav Klimt. "The "Lady In Gold' refers to a painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Klimt.  "The lady In Gold"  takes on a life of its own when it is stolen by the  Nazis.  As the painting's subject and creator are swept along by history, it is the painting that becomes most important. Adele's niece, Maria Bloch-Bauer fought Austria for decades, to have five paintings returned to the Bloch- Bauer family.  Among the  paintings was "The Lady In Gold"                                                   The recovery of the paintings brings us up to the present day .        
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely brilliant!  I love the historic research and the history that belonged to that ERA.  Wonderfully written.  We read the book as part of our book club selection .  The timing was perfect.  Once again today more of these Masterpieces were found hiding in someone hanging in  another home that had no right to the paintings.  For same on all who knowingly stored these pictures on there walls. The history background of this story is extremely important.  I loved every minute of the book.    
jcbrunner on LibraryThing 3 days ago
2012 marks the 150th anniversary of Gustav Klimt, one of Austria's most famous painters. Personally, I find Klimt a mean portraitist as the gold and illustrations distract from the token face of the person portrayed. In contrast to Schiele and others, the person portrayed is not given sufficient prominence - which partially explains Klimt's success in posters and postcards, as the token portrayed's place can be filled in by anybody. Klimt's anniversary is celebrated with ten different exhibitions in Austria, which shows both that Vienna's museums are unwilling to cooperate and coordinate among themselves and that Klimt's work is overrepresented in Austria and underrepresented abroad. During the last years, Klimt has been in the news mostly because of the struggle for the restitution of the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, duly reported by the author of this book for the Los Angeles Times. Unfortunately her account is very partisan. "Audiatur et altera pars" is not something she seems to be aware of. She also fails to evaluate the information collected. The author further has an unfortunate tendency to conflate a person's English language skills with that person's intelligence and friendliness, e.g. I would hesitate to interpret the graveyard gardener's responses as hostile. Gardeners are not selected for their language skills. Answering questions in English might just have frightened them. They might not even have been Austrian. The book is also filled with numerous howlers that a quick look up at Wikipedia could have prevented easily. No, Marc Aurel did not hold back the Huns who arrived two hundred years later. No, Hitler was not Vienna's native son. No, Czechoslovakia did not exist then and no longer exists now. European history certainly was neither Mrs. O'Connor's forte nor her editor's. She certainly fits into the truthiness mold of her present employer, the Pravda on the Potomac. Why check a statement if it sounds true?The narrative of the end of her book and its beginning are also not compatible: She starts with a classic, idealistic tale of justice, of handing the portrait back to its just owners. Her story ends with a greedy lawyer cashing in forty percent of the auction money extracted and four of the five paintings (which had been on public display in a public museum) disappearing in unknown private collections. In the light of this outcome, a rewrite of the first two thirds of the book would have been in order.In an ethical decision analysis, one would have to take into account the declaration of the lady in the portrait to have it displayed in a public museum. One would further have to consider the suffering and expropriation caused to the Bloch-Bauer family. The lawyer's efforts also deserve adequate compensation. Finally, one should also acknowledge that today's Austrians are not guilty for their grandparents' actions. Thus, a compromise of displaying the portraits in a US museum should have been an acceptable solution for all, which would have also increased Klimt's visibility abroad.Enter the lawyers. On the Austrian side, the lawyers held firm to the idea that Adele Bloch-Bauer had declared to have the painting displayed in the Belvedere museum. They failed to take into consideration that the Cold War had ended and the old generation of US politicians who were aware of their own complicity in not restoring the looted properties and not cleaning up institutions (exhibit A: former Austrian Nazi and UN secretary general Kurt Waldheim) were no longer in charge. On the American side, the lawyer representing the heirs was looking out more to his own than his clients' interests. Which went so far that he started suing his client (a Holocaust survivor) to extract his pound of flesh in the form of a full forty percent of the proceeds - which crashed a superior US museum solution at 150 million US dollars. Heir and collector Ronald Lauder added his political connections to extract and auction off the paintings to the hi
rokinrev 9 months ago
This is the book that inspired the Helen Mirrin/Ryan Reynolds movie a few years back. It was not an easy read, by any means, but should be read by those who have read Schindler’s list and similar histories. The first part of the book, about Gustav Klimt, is marvelous. From his early days and family life through to his death, we really get to see the “man behind the curtain”, his poor beginnings and his triumphs and tragedies and his body of work are all reported well. But then, the Nazi invasion and everything that was taken because it could be makes the story begin to drag as O’Connor gets a bit “bogged down” in the reasoning behind Hitler’s invasion and torment of those different from his “Ayrian perfection”. Then, we begin to follow the Bloch-Bauer fight to get their Klimt back, and circle back to the introduction where her lawyer is in the end, triumphant, if you could call it that, in acquiring the masterpiece hidden in the vault along with countless others that may someday be claimed from the biggest overall art theft in history. I think this book was very sad, and very true. Someday, maybe, I’ll see the film, but right now, this is enough. Recommended 4/5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HALRPH More than 1 year ago
My Mom & Grandmother were from Vienna I had higher hopes for this book - while very historical and factual, the author chooses to color the narrative and dialogue between Klimt & the characters as if she were present when they were alive! Seriously? Investigative, newspaper columnists should stick to that genre of writing - it doesn't translate to historical events. The book was interesting - but more because my family hails from Vienna & I wanted to kn0w me about that period of time. The book was too long - could definately have been condensed -= I skipped over paragraphs & paragraphs - and still found that it dragged
gutdoc More than 1 year ago
This book had potential. The terrible history behind the famous Klimt painting could have made for an important and interesting contribution to the many books concerning the Nazi era. However, the way this book is narrated kept me from getting into the the story as it was very dry with too much attention to the little insignificant details. It was highly reviewed by critics and I respect that, however, I found it boring and very draggy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a book club member, I often find it helpful when a revier or report on the book includes study/discussion questions. It seems these are missing in this case. Maybe somebody could offer a few to stimulate discussion sessions for the reader(s). mable-in-lagro+st.pete
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was like reading a history book and not in any way entertaining was a waste of money
kitty-kitty More than 1 year ago
The order was canceled and never got the book