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Download The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimts Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer Audiobook, by Anne-Marie O'Connor Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00292397660819 out of 53.00292397660819 out of 53.00292397660819 out of 53.00292397660819 out of 53.00292397660819 out of 5 3.00 (342 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anne-Marie O'Connor Narrator: Coleen Marlo Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781452680569
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The Lady in Gold, considered an unforgettable masterpiece, one of the twentieth century's most recognizable paintings, made headlines all over the world when Ronald Lauder bought it for $135 million a century after Klimt, the most famous Austrian painter of his time, completed the society portrait. Anne-Marie O'Connor, writer for the Washington Post, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, tells the galvanizing story of the Lady in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a dazzling Viennese Jewish society figure; daughter of the head of one of the largest banks in the Hapsburg Empire, head of the Oriental Railway, whose Orient Express went from Berlin to Constantinople; wife of Ferdinand Bauer, sugar-beet baron. The Bloch-Bauers were art patrons, and Adele herself was considered a rebel of fin de siècle Vienna (she wanted to be educated, a notion considered "degenerate" in a society that believed women being out in the world went against their feminine "nature"). The author describes how Adele inspired the portrait and how Klimt made more than a hundred sketches of her—simple pencil drawings on thin manila paper. And O'Connor writes of Klimt himself, son of a failed gold engraver, shunned by arts bureaucrats, called an artistic heretic in his time, a genius in ours. She writes of the Nazis confiscating the portrait of Adele from the Bloch-Bauers' grand palais; of the Austrian government putting the painting on display, stripping Adele's Jewish surname from it so that no clues to her identity (nor any hint of her Jewish origins) would be revealed. Nazi officials called the painting, "The Lady in Gold" and proudly exhibited it in Vienna's Baroque Belvedere Palace, consecrated in the 1930s as a Nazi institution. The author writes of the painting, inspired by the Byzantine mosaics Klimt had studied in Italy, with their exotic symbols and swirls, the subject an idol in a golden shrine. We see how, sixty years after it was stolen by the Nazis, the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer became the subject of a decade-long litigation between the Austrian government and the Bloch-Bauer heirs, how and why the U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the case, and how the Court's decision had profound ramifications in the art world. In this book listeners will find riveting social history; an illuminating and haunting look at turn-of-the-century Vienna; a brilliant portrait of the evolution of a painter; a masterfully told tale of suspense. And at the heart of it, The Lady in Gold—the shimmering painting, and its equally irresistible subject, the fate of each forever intertwined. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • O'Connor resurrects fascinating individuals and tells a many-faceted, intensely affecting, and profoundly revelatory tale of the inciting power of art and the unending need for justice. Booklist Starred Review
  • “Ignites many a startling flash point in the moral history of our time—a taut, rich, tangy, and instructive read.”

    Frederic Morton, National Book Award–nominated author

  • “Gripping in details and drama.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Fascinating, ambitious, exhaustively researched…A mesmerizing tale of art and the Holocaust.”

    Washington Post

  • “Writing with a novelist’s dynamism, O’Connor resurrects fascinating individuals and tells a many-faceted, intensely affecting, and profoundly revelatory tale of the inciting power of art and the unending need for justice.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 2/15/2014

    " I looked forward to this book as part of the group of books such as 'In the Garden of the Beasts' and many of the very good historical books by Roger Crowley ...but Ms O'Connor is not the calibre of writer, I'm sorry to say and although the tale is fascinating...the reading was a bit of a dogged process. I'm glad I finished it and appreciate even more the portrait hanging in the Neue Gallerie AND the reconstruction of the Seccession House in Vienna w/ this background but, it could have been much much better to read. And w/ the less writing, it makes me wonder about the research...too bad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/7/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. It's taught me a lot while telling moving stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 2/6/2014

    " This is a fantastic book about old Vienna, stolen art, and the struggle to restore things stolen by the Nazis. Great story and history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hank Stuever | 1/29/2014

    " Disclosure: Anne-Marie O'Connor is a friend of mine, but I have to just add a few words here to say how much I admire the way she's synthesized all this material into a gripping story of people, art, human nature (the worst kind), war, memory, recompense. There is something on every page that surprises -- the sort of facts and tangents that a more narrow account might have edited out, but that beautifully illuminate the larger story to be told here. You can tell this book was carefully written and that every sentence was thoughtfully considered, researched and arranged. The short-chapter organization and illustrations are a masterful way to usher the reader through a story that takes a century to play out. I don't read a lot of art history or true tales of museum shenanigans and lost treasures very much. But I have to say I was addicted to this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon Hardin | 1/29/2014

    " This book reads like a novel and I found the details about Klimt, 20th Century Viennese society, the disturbing Nazi era, and post-war art restitution fascinating. There are a lot of names and interconnected families, so a genealogy or listing of "main characters" would have been helpful, but the index provided reminders when needed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeffrey | 1/26/2014

    " Superb investigation and recounting of not only the restitution of the Klimt art but also a very appropriate biography of the Bloch-Bauers, their friends, enemies, and opportunists but also of Vienna and Austria from early 1900s thru present. The Austrian political and social injustices and amnesia around the events of the War and the treatment of its Jewish residents is unsettling and shameful. A fascinating and very well-written book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lander | 1/21/2014

    " This is an amazing story of Gustav Klimt and the history of this incredible painting. I was surprised by how many significant points in history were touched upon by this artwork. It is well worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 1/20/2014

    " An interesting read that spans a century. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie Moseley | 12/10/2013

    " Fascinating account of a fascinating artist and his subject. Then the amzaing law suit which led to the return of the painting stolen by the Nazi's "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 12/9/2013

    " Fascinating subject so far. Would do well to have more images. Often refers to pieces of art or settings that make the reader want to see more. Images included are poor quality b/w. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pam Johnson | 11/28/2013

    " This is really 2.5 in my mind. I thought some parts were very insightful and brought Vienna's prewar cultural world to life for me. But other parts were a bit forced and rushed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny Spinrad | 11/23/2013

    " This read like somebody's masters thesis...I was hoping for more info on the painter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Garrett | 10/29/2013

    " Really enjoyed this read. The author links past to present without going overboard with excessive detail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sari | 9/20/2013

    " Amazing story. I want to read this book again! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 8/29/2013

    " A different look at the life of Jewish people in Austria leading up to the time of Hitler. After reading about the painting for which the book is titled, I would love to see some of Klimt's work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan Terry | 6/24/2013

    " The book jumps around quite a bit but overall a very interesting read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arlene Sokolow | 6/17/2013

    " Great book! Loved the history of the artist, era, and the family! Well written and with wonderful visuals. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Terry | 4/21/2013

    " I was excited about this book when I read a review, but was disappointed by its emphasis on the persecution of wealthy Jewish people in Austria during World War II. I was expecting more of a focus on Klimt and the painting "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauri | 4/18/2013

    " The tale is indeed extraordinary, but not portrayed very well in this book. I was really disappointed - the writing was disjointed and hard to follow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vickie | 4/15/2013

    " loved this book - and i think it is one of the most beautiful paintings! The story of the painting and it's journey after WWII is extraordinary - involving the US Supreme Court "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lyn | 3/23/2013

    " Interesting & horrifying history just think it could have been edited down to half the book to tell it. Lots of repetition... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey | 3/3/2013

    " What a fascinating history of empowerment and betrayal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda Schroeder | 2/19/2013

    " This is an excellent look at the artist Gustav Klimt, his subject, and the times they lived. It also is an excellent account of the legal process necessary to get the painting returned from Hitler's stash to its rightful owner. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Irene vayser | 1/14/2013

    " Incredible story, loved to learn that piece of history. Too many characters to follow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 12/14/2012

    " A memoir of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt and his paintings of rich Jewish women in pre WWII Vienna. "Lady in Gold", "The Kiss". "

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About the Author

Anne-Marie O’Connor attended Vassar College, studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a foreign correspondent for Reuters and a staff writer for theLos Angeles Times for twelve years and has written extensively on Gustav Klimt’s painting The Lady in Gold and the Bloch-Bauer family’s efforts to recover its art collection. Her articles have appeared in Esquire, the Nation, and the Christian Science Monitor. She currently writes for the Washington Post from Mexico City, where her husband, William Booth, is Post bureau chief.

About the Narrator

Coleen Marlo is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator who has been nominated for an Audie Award twice, winning in 2011. She has been awarded three Listen-Up Awards from Publishers Weekly, an AudioFile Audiobook of the Year Award in 2011, and was named Audiobook Narrator of the Year for 2010 by Publishers Weekly. She is a member of the prestigious Actors Studio and taught acting for ten years at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. Marlo is a proud founding member of Deyan Institute of Voice Artistry and Technology.