About the Book
"A valuable fine-grained portrait
The English translation of her book is fluent and accurate, conveying well the tone of Claire Loos’ original (which, in turn, to some extent mimics Loos’ own writing style). Richly informative."
Christopher Long, West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture
"Claire Beck Loos, a gifted photographer and writer,
reveals much about her ex-husband’s mercurial persona in a series of conversationally-toned vignettes
. Claire died tragically at 38, at the Riga concentration camp; her memoir thus becomes a haunting tribute not only to Loos's talents, but to her own.."
Judy Pollan, Modernism Magazine
Adolf LoosA Private Portrait is an unusual, literary biography featuring lively, often humorous, snapshots” of Viennese-Czechoslovak architect Adolf Loos. An intimate collection of vignettes reveal Loos’ personality, temperament and philosophy during the last years of his life (1929-1933) and the ways in which he helped shape Modern architecture. This translation, by Constance C. Pontasch and Nicholas Saunders, is the first English edition, the book having enjoyed several reprints in German.
The author, Claire Beck Loos, was a photographer and Adolf Loos’ last wife. She was born in 1904 in Czechoslovakia; her family were Jewish industrialists and important early clients of Loos, commissioning several apartments in Pilsen and works by the architect’s friend Oskar Kokoschka. In addition to being a biography of her husband, Adolf LoosA Private Portrait also serves as a self-portrait of Claire, a vibrant young artist who died a tragic and untimely death at Riga, a Nazi concentration camp, in 1942. The book includes supplemental texts by Claire’s niece Janet Beck Wilson, biographical materials and previously unpublished artistic photographs by the author.