From an early age Luise was influenced by those who were creative, especially her mother, and in interviews she has suggested that falling into acting was merely chance, she could have easily taken another artistic route had the circumstances dictated it. She remembers at around age 10 reproducing a work by Rembrandt only to be chastised by her father who told her, “It is a lie to copy someone else’s work.” After her time in Hollywood Luise began to paint in earnest. In the late 1950s and early 1960s she studied at the Camden Institute in London and began to find her own style, often using oil painting with natural elements such as stones, earth, and flowers to create three dimensional pieces. When her estate was auctioned at Julien’s in Los Angeles after her death there were many works of art, not only in Luise’s hand but by artists she knew and those she admired.
Below you will find details of exhibitions which have included Luise’s own artwork, followed by information about other shows which feature images of Luise, either photographic, or by other artists. Finally there is a gallery featuring images by and of Luise.
Exhibitions featuring Luise’s work
Luise Rainer Solo Exhibition
at the Patrick Seale Gallery, London, UK. 24 May to 9 June 1978.
This was Luise’s first and only solo exhibition of her work.
London Artists From Germany
at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, London, UK. October 1978.
Over the course of the 20th century Luise has been influenced by and an inspiration to, many artists, writers and photographers. As one of Hollywood’s leading ladies of the 1930s her image was captured by everyone from MGM studio photographers to world-renowned artists. The following exhibitions featured images of Luise. Click on an active link for full details of each exhibition (where available).
Hollywood Portrait Photographers 1921 – 1941
at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), 11 W 53 Street, New York, USA.
5 December 1980 to 28 February 1981.
Extravagant Crowd: Carl Van Vechten’s Portraits of Women
at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, 121 Wall Street, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
28 July to 18 October 2003.
Hollywood Chinese: The Arthur Dong Collection
at the Chinese American Museum, 425 North Los Angeles Street, California, USA.
24 October 2009 to 7 November 2010.
Property from the Estate of Luise Rainer
at Julien’s Auctions, 257 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, California, USA.
23 September to 1 October 1015
Luise Rainer: Eine Hollywood-Göttin aus Düsseldorf
[Luise Rainer: A Hollywood Goddess from Dusseldorf]
at the International Music Academy Anton Rubinstein, Dusseldorf, Germany.
Part of the Düsseldorf Photo Weekend 2019.
8 to 10 March 2019.
National Portrait Gallery Collection
at the National Portrait Gallery, London, UK.
Luise appears in four portraits in the collection, by photographers Angus McBean, Fritz Henle, Anthony Buckley and Mark Gerson.
National Portrait Gallery
at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, USA.
The collection includes two photographic portraits by Carl van Vechten, and a drawing by Samuel Johnson Woolf.
Portraits of Luise
Felix Weihs de Weldon, 1938
Luise sat for sculptor Felix Weihs in 1938, resulting in a striking bust which is now owned by Luise’s daughter, Francesca.
Arthur Kaufman, 1939
Luise appears as one of 38 European exiles to the USA in Kaufman’s triptych Die geistige Emigration.
Dmitri Berea, 1949
Luise sat for the Hungarian artist in 1949. One of th sittings was captured by a photographer and appeared on the front cover of the French magazine, France Illustration (below). This painting stayed with Luise and hung in her London apartment and has not been publicly exhibited. It was sold in the auction of her estate in 2015.