07 May 2011

Mutti Phones Heidede

Marlene Dietrich / by Erich Salomon. Hollywood, 1930.
Marlene Dietrich memorabilia can't compete with a Picasso in drawing top spenders, but Dietrich's name sells. I have found yet another item on the auction block, this time at a starting bid of 400 euros! WestLicht Photographica Auction is peddling an Erich Salomon photo of the then-Hollywood neophyte calling her daughter Maria, who had initially remained in Berlin. Search for Lot 1036 because linking to the page eludes me.

Why Erich Salomon was in Dietrich's bedroom at 4AM to capture this moment--I cannot say. Although I question the photo's veracity as I notice the lampshade conspicuously nodding at Maria's kisser, Dietrich--without Sternberg's photo-sculpting--appears sufficiently haggard yet elated to have risen at the crack of dawn and hear her beloved daughter's voice. You can see another photo from this shoot here.

Salomon's life reflected Dietrich's in that both traveled from Germany to America in the 1930s to share their international talent. Unlike Dietrich, however, Salomon stood behind the camera as a photojournalist and eventually returned to Germany. Salomon, a Jew, sadly became a Holocaust victim, reportedly dying at Auschwitz in July 1944. Read more about Salomon here.

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