Alice Hauser 1901
Three-quarter full-length portrait from rear/leftside view, the face shown in lateral profile, in front of turquoise-colored background. The sitter is wearing a black dress with black taffeta sleeves and a large taffeta mesh at the neckline as well as a white lace collar, which is cut out in a V-shape at the back. She wears a large, wide-brimmed black hat with black feather ornaments.
Pastel on canvas 110 x 75 cm
Signature: J. Q. Adams. 1901
Belvedere Vienna Inv.No. 4574
Alice Hauser (1.8.1873 Vienna - 1963 USA), née Sobotka, sister-in-law of John Quincy Adams (married to Stefanie Sobotka), daughter of Moritz Sobotka, the co-owner of the First Vienna Export Malt Factory.
On Oct. 27, 1895, marriage to her cousin Alfred Charles Hauser (1870-1948). In 1901 Alice, Alfred, and son Ernst convert to the Protestant faith AB by baptism. Afred Hauser was son of the co-founder of Sobotka-Hauser Erste Wiener Exportmalzfabrik (founded 1884) Jakob Hauser. The marriage connection between the children (and cousins) of the two owners (Jakob Hauser and Moritz Sobotka) repeats a pattern of their parents' generation: Jakob Hauser and Moritz Sobotka were in turn married to the sisters Johanna and Sofie Brum, daughters of a business partner and financier of the two entrepreneurs. Such "alliance marriages" (often multiple marriages of siblings) to strengthen family and economic ties were widespread in Vienna around 1900 among the aristocracy and the Jewish bourgeoisie. The Hauser couple had two sons (Ernst Alfred 1896-1956 and Wolfgang Johannes 1902-??). Racially persecuted, the Hauser family emigrated to the USA in 1936, where Ernst Alfred was already a chemist and professor at MIT. Alice Hauser obtained U.S. citizenship (naturalization) in 1938 (see cross-references, and her photo showing an aged face, marked by persecution and emigration) and died there in 1963.
The portrait of Alice Hauser (described in the Belvedere as a "lady in a black dress and hat") was probably a work to document Adams new family association with the Sobotka family, on the occasion of his marriage to Stefanie Sobotka (Alice Hauser's sister) in 1901, or it was commissioned by the Sobotka's/Hauser's on that occasion to support the young, upcoming artist. Although an early work by Adams, the choice of perspective and masterful pastel technique make this one of Adams' most accomplished portraits. A boy's portrait from 1902, which was painted about the same time, also in pastel technique, is a counterpart to the Alice Hauser painting and probably shows her son Ernst Alfred Hauser at the age of six (or possibly alternatively his cousin Franz Valentin Epler).
The provenance of the Alice Hauser painting is not fully documented. It was probably not taken to the USA with the emigration in 1936, but came to the lawyer and politician Dr. Eugen Margarétha (1885-1963, among other things 1949-1952 Minister of Finance, 1952-1960 President of the National Bank), who worked with Alfred Hauser in the Viennese Industrialists' Association and was probably on friendly terms with the Hauser family. Dr. Margarétha emigrated to Switzerland in 1938 and returned to Austria only after 1945. The fate of the painting during the Nazi era is unknown. Dr. Margarétha dedicated the painting to the Belvedere Vienna in 1951.
1986 Academy Schillerplatz Vienna, Viennese Society in Portrait, Catalog No. 5.
Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #5 (w. color ill.)
APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 42, cat.#11, fig.#5.
The sitter (probably until 1936).
Eugen Margarétha, Vienna. 1951 Dedication to Belvedere Vienna Inv.No. 4574