Betrayal: The Life and Art of Rudolf Bauer

A documentary narrated by Linda Hunt
Jan 1, 2008

From the height of achievement to the depths of obscurity, from a Gestapo prison to the Guggenheim Museum, the story of twentieth-century abstract artist Rudolf Bauer is one of Shakespearean proportion. Yet Bauer’s name and art have been largely forgotten. This documentary revisits the life and art of this important painter, from his artistic beginnings in Berlin before World War I to his pioneering contributions to non-objective art and his patronage by copper magnate Solomon R. Guggenheim.


Intertwined with Bauer’s artistic life was his tumultuous relationship with Hilla Rebay, Guggenheim’s personal curator and Bauer’s former lover. Through this connection, Bauer played a crucial role in the establishment of Guggenheim’s collection and a museum to house it. Ultimately, a dramatic falling out with Rebay and Guggenheim would take its toll on the artist, his art, and his legacy. Sixty years later, the art of Rudolf Bauer is rediscovered.


Written and Produced by Ken Swartz
Executive Producers: Rowland Weinstein and Jim Swanson
Grace & Michael Productions