Rudolf Koppitz


After a photography apprenticeship and his military service, Rudolf Koppitz (Austrian, 1884–1936) began working at the studio of Dora Kallmus (Madame d’Ora) in Vienna in 1912. It was presumably there that he came into contact with the works of Heinrich Kühn and Hugo Henneberg. That same year Koppitz began his studies at the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchanstalt in Vienna, becoming the assistant of Heinrich Kessler for his professional photography master class in 1913. Koppitz also had contact with artists such as Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and the painter-photographer Anton Trčka. After serving in World War I, Koppitz returned to the “Graphische” and received a professorship in 1918, and became dean of the photography department in 1930. In 1925 Koppitz created his masterpiece, Bewegungsstudie, "Motion Study" in which he photographed dancers from the Vienna State Opera in the highly decorative and symbolist tradition of the Viennese Jugendstil. Henceforth his photographs were shown in numerous international exhibitions and salons in the second half of the 1920s. In his late work, a portrayal of peasant life in Tyrol that culminated in the vast 1936 exhibition Land und Leute (Country and People), he became a proponent of the so called Heimatphotographie (Homeland photography).