Front view
Inv. No.S-0044
ArtistCécile Machlupborn 1868 in Austriadied 1938 in Austria


Yeararround 1920, vintage

non-silver dichromat process

Dimensions49 x 34 cm

"Photography is my goal in life, my purpose in life and my joy in life," reads the catalog for the Styrian Art Photography Exhibition, organized by the Club of Amateur Photographers and the Art Photography Association, in Graz in 1912.

Cécile Machlup had married the industrialist Berthold Machlup in 1892 and from 1901 spent summers on her estate in Styria on the border with Slovenia, which could explain her trips to Gorizia, 250 km away - at that time still part of Austria-Hungary. The people in Machlup's shots of the old narrow streets and alleys are mostly women and children. They appear to be posed scenes that she staged to embellish the street scenes.
She had been an amateur photographer since 1907 and was considered a follower of pictorialism until the 1920s. As one of the few female members of the best-known photography specialist group at the Ottakring Adult Education Center, she was part of the Vienna Workers' Photography movement. These specialist groups were loosely organized working groups that had their own, often well-equipped premises. The Ottakring photography group pursued a moderate modern course; although neo-sachistic photography or the New Vision were cautiously received, it did not become stylistic. For her genre pictures and children's portraits as well as the quality of her bromoil prints, Machlup was made an honorary member starting in 1927.
In February 1934, workers' photography lost its - already narrow - publicity at a stroke when all Social Democratic newspapers and publications were banned.
Machlup died shortly before the Anschluss to the German Reich came into effect in March 1938, which had already led to attacks on Jews like her and her husband. The cause of death has not survived, but she was undoubtedly of delicate constitution at the age of seventy, and one can imagine that the stress of the time when Jewish businessmen were paraded through the streets and their homes confiscated was damaging to her health alone.
(after James McArdle and Anton Holzer, Photography in Austria, 2013)

S-0044, Gorica
Cécile Machlup, Gorica, arround 1920
S-0044, Front view
S-0252, W.P.A. Chambers, "Down the Lane – Bastia, Corsica", 1930s
W.P.A. Chambers, "Down the Lane – Bastia, Corsica", 1930s
more infoS-0252, Front view