The photographer Maria Austria, actually Marie Östreicher, was born in Karlovy Vary in 1915 and came to Vienna in the mid-1930s to study at the Higher Federal Institution for Graphic Education and Research. After working briefly as a press photographer, she emigrated to Amsterdam in 1937, where she founded the Studio Model en Foto Austria (Fashion and Photo Studio Austria) with her sister Lisbeth, a textile designer educated at the Bauhaus Dessau. Following the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, she went underground and helped the resistance by making passport photos for counterfeit passports. In 1945, she established the Particam Pictures photo agency with her husband and other colleagues. As a press photographer, she documented the issues of her time, from the destruction caused by war to street photography and portraits of artists and celebrities. Her series Het Achterhuis from 1954, with photos of Anne Frank’s hiding place, still has a direct impact today. In later years she specialized in theatrical photography.
A selection of her photos was already featured as part of the exhibition Vienna’s Shooting Girls – Jewish Women Photographers from Vienna in 2012 at the Jewish Museum Vienna. Now the first solo exhibition of this outstanding exponent of post-war photography, who remains largely unknown in this country, is being shown in Austria. Starting from the early works from her years in Vienna, this represents the highlights of her photographic activity from the 1930s to the mid-1970s.
Curator: Andrea Winklbauer Architecture: Robert Rüf Exhibition design: Bueronardin