Jewish Film Festival Kicks Off at MMofA with Portrait of Wally
The Mobile Museum of Art will host the showing of the first film of the 2014 Jewish Film Festival. Matinee and evening screenings of documentary film Portrait of Wally will be presented January 9 in the MMofA Larkins Auditorium. The festival lasts through January 23 at venues around Mobile and Baldwin County. The complete schedule of films is available online at mobilejewishfederation.org.
Portrait of Wally, Egon Schiele’s tender picture of his mistress, Walburga (Wally) Neuzil, is the pride of the Leopold Museum in Vienna. But for 13 years the painting was locked up in New York, caught in a legal battle between the Austrian museum and the Jewish family from whom the Nazis seized the painting in 1939.
The film traces the history of this iconic image – from Schiele’s gesture of affection toward his young lover, to the theft of the painting from Lea Bondi, a Jewish art dealer fleeing Vienna for her life, to the post-war confusion and subterfuge that evoke The Third Man, to the surprise resurfacing of Wally on loan to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan in 1997.