Dora Kallmus

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Dora Kallmus
Born Dora Philippine Kallmus
Vienna, Austria
Died October 28, 1963
Frohnleiten (near Steiermark), Austria
Nationality Austrian
Other names Madame D'Ora
Occupation Photographer
Known for Society and fashion photography

Dora Kallmus (1881 - October 28, 1963) was an Austrian-Jewish fashion and portrait photographer who went by the name of "Madame D'Ora".


Born Dora Philippine Kallmus in Vienna in 1881, she came from a respected family of Jewish lawyers. In 1905 she was the first woman to be admitted to theory courses at the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (Graphic Training Institute).[1] That same year she became a member of the Vienna Photographic Society. She trained at Nicola Perscheid's studio in Berlin, where she became friends with his assistant Arthur Benda.

In 1907 she opened a photography studio with Benda in Vienna called the Benda-D'Ora Studio. The name was based on the pseudonym "Madame d'Ora", which she used professionally throughout the rest of her life. She was popular among the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy, and their gallery was so popular that they opened another studio in Paris in 1924. Three years later she left Vienna for Paris and worked there for many years. In Paris, she became internationally known for her society and fashion photography during the 1930s and 1940s. Her subjects included Josephine Baker, Tamara de Lempicka, Alban Berg, Niddy Impekoven, Maurice Chevalier, Colette, and other dancers, actors, painters, and writers.

When the Germans invaded France she fled to a convent in the countryside. She returned to Paris in late 1946 and reopened the studio.

In 1959 she was involved in a serious traffic accident that left her an invalid. She died in Frohnleiten, Steiermark, Austria, in 1963.


  1. ^ Lothar Schirmer (2001). Women Seeing Women, A Pictorial History of Women's Photography. NY: Norton. p. 218. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Faber, Monica. Madame d'Ora: Vienna and Paris, 1907-1957, the Photography of Dora Kallmus. Vassar College (1987). ISBN 978-0-916663-02-5.

External links[edit]