Merry Christmas

This photo of Anna Pavlova, dressed for her divertissement, Christmas, was one of her favourites. She signed it and gave it to those who helped her during her visit to Australia in 1929.

The portrait was taken in Paris by the Viennese photographer, Dora Kalmus (or Kallmus), whose studio was called Atelier d’Ora.

In 1925 she opened a studio in Paris 1925 where she took photographs of writers, artists, entertainers and fashion designers, among them Coco Chanel, Tamara de Lempicka, Colette and Maurice Chevalier.

Among those who were lucky enough to receive d’Ora’s portrait of Pavlova in Australia were the Melbourne ballet teacher, Eunice Weston, and the artist and publisher, Sydney Ure Smith, whose magazine Home, featured Pavlova in photographic spreads.

The photo is part of the dance collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

This is a revised version of my original post and corrects the spelling of d’Ora’s name.

Merry Christmas to all dancelines’ readers and special thanks to Robert Woodley at the Mitchell Library who has helped me research the collection over the past two years.



  1. Posted December 27, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Dear Valerie,
    Thanks for posting this sumptuous photo of her. I haven’t seen it anywhere else on the net. I can’t wait to get back to work and put your reference on the Catalog record. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and birthday.

  2. David Sumray
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    It is so interesting comparing this photograph with those (unretouched) ones taken at a rehearsal of ‘Christmas’ at the Champs-Elysee Theatre in 1925. Pavlova’s determination to control her image is as fascinating as any Hollywood star. The London Times has some particularly wonderful action photographs taken during her Covent Garden seasons in the 1920s, some of which have been published in the past, but if only all of them could be seen I believe that they would give a real ‘feel’ of Pavlova – apart from the Times photographs, the only images of Pavlova that I have seen that really capture her grace and give one a very real idea of the excitement she generated are those beautiful sketches and watercolours by Joseph Page Fredericks.

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Anna Pavlova, in costume for Christmas, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, call Number	P1 / 1321

Anna Pavlova, in costume for Christmas, photo, S’Ora