We are thrilled to announce that Gustav Klimt’s stunning Adele Bloch-Bauer II, one of two formal portraits that the artist made of his patron Adele Bloch-Bauer, is on view in MoMA’s fifth-floor Painting and Sculpture Galleries beginning today, as a special long-term loan from a private collection.
Adele Bloch-Bauer was the wife of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a wealthy industrialist in Vienna, where Klimt lived and worked. Completed in 1912, the composition emphasizes Bloch-Bauer’s social station within Vienna’s cultural elite; her towering figure, in opulent dress, is set against a jewel-toned backdrop of nearly abstract patterned blocks that suggest a richly decorated domestic interior.
In 1938, the Nazis took possession of this portrait, along with other works in the Bloch-Bauer family’s collection (including Adele Bloch-Bauer I, now in the collection of the Neue Galerie, New York). In 2006, after years of legal negotiations, the works were returned to the Bloch-Bauer heirs and subsequently sold to other collections.
Adele Bloch-Bauer II is on view along with a selection of works from the Museum’s collection, including paintings, drawings, and objects by Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, and others.