Immortalized as “The Woman in Gold,” How a Young Jew Became a Secular Icon

NPR’s Susan Stamberg reports on the significance of Adele Bloch-Bauer, a portrait by Gustav Klimt from 1907. The painting’s namesake was an Austrian Jewish woman who some have called “The Mona Lisa of Austria.” In the early 1940s, the Nazis seized her portrait from its home in Vienna, where it had become a national icon, and renamed it “The Woman in Gold.” “Without a Jewish name, the work became appropriate to show in Hitler’s Third Reich,” Stamberg writes. “It was a violation, enacted by officials who knew exactly who she was.”

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