Claire Beck Loos

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Claire Beck Loos
Claire Beck Loos circa late1920s self-portrait.jpg
Claire Beck Loos self portrait, late 1920s Courtesy: Study and Dokumentation Centrum, Villa Müller, Prague, Czech Republic
Born 1904
Pilsen, Czechoslovakia
Died 1942
Riga, Latvia
Occupation writer, photographer
Notable works Adolf Loos Privat

Claire Beck Loos was a photographer and writer, born in 1904 in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. She was the third wife of early modern Czechoslovak-Viennese architect Adolf Loos.

Claire Beck's immediate and extended relations - the Beck, Hirsch, Turnowsky and Kraus families - and friends the Semmlers, were some of Loos' first clients. They hired him to remodel apartment interiors in Pilsen and Vienna, and it was there that Loos first began to open up the "interstitial spaces" between walls to create continuous rooms.[1] These projects, among others, are highlighted in the traveling exhibition "Learning to Dwell: Adolf Loos in the Czech Lands" sponsored by the City of Prague Museum, which opened in Prague in 2008 and has travelled to Brno, Czech Republic; Torino, Italy; and the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.

Claire and Loos were engaged after Loos invited the Beck family to see a Josephine Baker performance in Vienna in the spring of 1929.[2] They had a short and rushed engagement, due to her parents' opposition. They were married in Vienna on 18 July 1929. She was thirty-five years younger than he was. Because it was a mixed marriage, the Jewish community refused to execute the marriage. Loos and Claire were divorced on 30 April 1932.[3]

Claire Beck Loos wrote Adolf Loos Privat, a literary work of snapshot-like vignettes about Loos' character, habits and sayings, which was published by the Johannes-Presse in Vienna in 1936. The book was intended to raise funds for Adolf Loos' tomb, as he died destitute on 23 August 1933.[4]

Following his death in 1933, Loos' body was later moved to Vienna's Zentralfriedhof to rest among the great artists and musicians of the city – including Arnold Schoenberg, Peter Altenberg, and Karl Kraus, all some of Loos' closest friends and associates.[5]

Claire Beck Loos and her mother Olga Feigl Beck moved to Prague at the beginning of World War II, and were later deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp, Claire in 1941 and Olga in 1942. They were separately transported to Riga, Latvia where they were presumably shot on arrival in 1942.[6]


  1. ^ Murray, Irena (2011). lecture. Royal Institute of British Architects. 
  2. ^ Loos, Claire Beck (1985). Adolf Loos Privat. Vienna: Bohlau. 
  3. ^ Rukschcio & Schachel (1982). Adolf Loos-Leben Und Werk. Salzburg: Residenz. 
  4. ^ Loos, Claire Beck (2011). Adolf Loos – A Private Portrait. Los Angeles, CA: DoppelHouse Press. 
  5. ^ Loos, Claire Beck (2011). Adolf Loos – A Private Portrait. Los Angeles, CA: DoppelHouse Press. 
  6. ^ Terezin Memorial Book. Prague: Melantrich. 1985.