Berta Zuckerkandl was an Austrian journalist and socialite who hosted a salon in Vienna which was frequented by numerous artists and intellectuals including Gustav Mahler, Franz Werfel, Stefan Zweig, Max Reinhardt and Gustav Klimt.
Born in 1864 to a family of journalists, Zuckerkandl had close ties to with European high society even before her own marriage to scientist Emil Zuckerkandl, which further expanded her contacts in Vienna's scientific community. She was able to combine the spheres of science and art to create one of the most successful salons of the late ninetieth and early twentieth century.
The salons of Europe were social gatherings, usually held in the home of a local aristocrat, where intellectuals met to discuss politics, literature and art, or to simply enlighten themselves through refined conversation. They were also a place where women, who were otherwise marginalized in society, were able to exert significant influence as event organizers, and moderators of discussions.
During the war years, Zuckerlandl fled to northern Africa where she lived with her son, returning to Paris in 1945, just before her death later that year.
Listen to prompt 127 to learn about another important salon hostess, Rahel Varnhagen.