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Grete Kolliner

By 10th November 2022February 23rd, 2023No Comments

Between the First and Second World Wars, Vienna was a hive of activity for women in photography such as Madame DOra (1881-1963) and Trude Fleischmann (1895-1990). Publications such as Moderne Welt, an illustrated cultural review aimed at women, provided a platform for many others, including Edith Barakovich (1896-1940), Edith Glogau(1913-1970), Dora Horovitz (1894-1978), Kitty Hoffman (1900-1968), Pepa Feldscharek (1899-1962), and Grete Kolliner.

Grete attended the Höhere Graphische Bundes-Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt from 1910 – 1915 and worked as an assistant at the school until 1916. In 1917, she opened her own studio in Vienna, Atelier Kolliner Wien, where she specialised in photographing avantgarde dancers such as Ellinor Tordis and Lilly Calderon.

Grete’s innovative work, capturing movement and dramatic poses, appeared extensively in the Fourth ‘Art of Movement’ exhibition in Essen in 1928, which is documented in the publication ‘The Russian Art of Movement’ by Nicoletta Misler. Her editorial portrait work was also published in German publications such as UHU and Das Leben.

Grete trained the German/British photographer Bill Brandt and Hungarian Eva Boros between 1926 and 1929, before they moved on to work with Man Ray in Paris and later London.

In the mid-1920s, Grete opened a second studio – Studio Trio – in Rome. She also exhibited her work at the Viennese version of Film und Foto in 1930, and at the I Biennale Internazionale d’Arte fotografica in 1932-33.

Grete’s career was sadly cut short, as she died of cancer in Vienna in 1933, at the age of 41.

Examples of her work can be found in the Wien Museum.


By Paula Vellet