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(Frieda Gertrud Riess, 1890-1955)

Frieda Riess was born in Czarnikau, Prussia to Jewish shopkeepers Emil and Selma Riess. Frieda and her widowed mother moved to Berlin at the end of the 1890s, and she studied sculpture with Hugo Lederer in 1907, then photography at the Berlin Photographischen Lehranstalt of the Lette-Verein in 1913, graduating in 1915. Riess opened her own photography studio in 1918 titled ‘Atelier Riess’ on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, which gained wide popularity with sitters including Anna Pavlova (1881-1931), Mistinguett (1875-1956), Lil Dagover (1887-1980), Max Liebermann (1847-1935) and Benito Mussolini (1883-1945). Riess became known simply as ‘Die Reiss’ or ‘Aterlier Riess’, and contributed to magazines such as Die Dame, Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung and Das Magazin. Riess moved to Paris in 1932 after falling in love with French ambassador Pierre de Margerie. There are no records of her activity during the Occupation, and her place of burial remains unknown.  

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