Dora Kallmus

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Dora Kallmus
Madame d'Ora & Ernst Benda, signature.jpg
Kallmus' signature (top) with Ernst Benda's signature (bottom)
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 (also known as Madame D'Ora) (1881 - October 28, 1963) was an Austrian-Jewish fashion and portrait photographer.


Born Dora Philippine Kallmus in Vienna in 1881, she came from a 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. The gallery became was so successful that they opened another studio in Paris in 1924, thanks to popularity amongst aristrocrats. Three years later she left Vienna for Paris. In Paris, she became 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 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]