Klimt photos by Pauline Kruger Hamilton

Pauline Hamilton: Gustav Klimt in a painter's smock, presumably circa 1911, Klimt Foundation
© Klimt Foundation, Vienna

Alongside Moriz Nähr, Anton Josef Trčka, Madame d'Ora and Friedrich Viktor Spitzer, Pauline Kruger Hamilton was also one of the photographers who were allowed to take pictures of Gustav Klimt. The special feature of her photographs was that they were not taken in a traditional photo studio, but in the private surroundings of the person being portrayed. Four photographs by Klimt, presumably taken in 1911, are known to date.

Born in the USA, the photographer and artist moved to Vienna in 1908. For the first two years, she worked as an assistant in the renowned photo studio of Madame d'Ora (Dora Kallmus), but was already presenting her own portrait photographs at the Pisko art salon in 1909. Kruger Hamilton found her clientele not only in aristocratic and social circles, but also in the art world. Her portrait series of Gustav Klimt was finally created in 1911. The location was presumably the garden or the immediate surroundings of his last studio at Feldmühlgasse 11. Kruger Hamilton photographed Klimt in various poses: sitting in the reverent pose of the painter prince and standing casually, backed by nature. In 1912, she presented this series of Klimt, among others, at the Pisko art salon. According to newspaper reports, Pauline Kruger Hamilton returned to the USA in 1915, where she continued to work as a photographer until her death in 1918 and campaigned for war orphans.

The Klimt Foundation recently succeeded in acquiring two photographs from this impressive series from the artist's estate, thus adding an integral part to the already extensive collection of photographs by Gustav Klimt.