What a Beauty - WMODA | Wiener Museum

What a Beauty

On April 24th to launch #Museum Week, Louise Irvine talked about all the Flappers, Vamps & Divas at WMODA. Many were portrayed in porcelain by Goldscheider of Austria, whose artists were inspired by the pin-up movie stars of the Art Deco era. Beauty by Stephan Dakon represents Lilian Harvey, the British born actress and singer who became famous in Germany between the wars.

Lilian Harvey studied music and dance at the Berlin State Opera and started her career as a revue dancer in Vienna in 1924. Her first movie role was as a young Jewish girl in The Curse and she starred in over 50 silent films and talkies. She made 11 romantic movies with her most famous leading man, Willy Fritsch, and they became the “dream couple” of German movies during the early 1930s. Lilian was acclaimed as the “sweetest girl in the world”.

Stephan Dakon modeled several stunning figures for Goldscheider inspired by pin-up photos of Miss Harvey. Beauty is based on her 1933 movie My Lips Betray. Harvey became an international star during the 1930s when some of her movies were filmed in English and French and she was invited to Hollywood. She was forced to emigrate from Nazi Germany in 1939 and continued to perform in France and Los Angeles. After the war, she moved to Paris and worked primarily as a singer. In her retirement, she ran a souvenir shop on the French Riviera and raised edible snails.

WMODA is very grateful to Mrs. Caroline D’Antonio for donating so many Goldscheider figures to the museum in memory of her late husband David who was an avid collector of these Art Deco beauties.

Related pages

The Golden Years of Goldscheider