30-07-2020 News from our friends at the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler (MMM).

The last known photograph of Gustav Mahler (Year 1911)

In our recent newsletter, we communicated our wish to present François Letienne’s archival work and research on newspaper clippings centered on the figure of Gustav Mahler; a voluntary work generously made available to the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler (MMM)

Without further delay, we are delighted to share with you a recent and overwhelming discovery: the last known photograph of Gustav Mahler. This moving picture, taken on 12 May 1911 at the arrival of the train that brought Mahler back to Vienna from Paris, only six days before his death, was published on 18 May in the Austrian newspaper Das interessante Blatt (1882-1939). As far as we know, it has not been published since then. It does not figure in any edition of the reference book published by Gilbert Kaplan, The Mahler Album (Kaplan Foundation/Thames & Hudson, 2011), which includes a great number of Mahler’s photographs.

This publication should arise the interest of Mahlerians and touch them. Such was Professor Peter Franklin’s reaction :

'This picture is astonishing ! I feel I have seen it in my dreams, but nowhere else. It is exactly as Alma described with reference to getting him on to the train in Paris. Presumably Carl Moll, Professor Chvostek and Alma would be in the cluster behind the stretcher, which looks grimly more like a coffin. Very moved to see this. Poor though the quality, the sense of the moment is extraordinarly vivid. How many more such pictures may yet lurk in fragments of old magazines and papers lining trunks in dusty attics. What a find !'.

Thanks to Peter Franklin, François Letienne, Vincent Mouret, Alena Parthonnaud and Anna Stoll-Knecht.

See Das interessante Blatt (1882-1939).