Helena Rubinstein. The Beauty Scout

19 Sep 2017 – 6 May 2018

Jüdisches Museum Wien

Wien, Austria


Save Event: Helena Rubinstein. The Beauty Scout

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Helena Rubinstein was the pioneer of female entrepreneurship. In the 1870s she was born in Kraków as the eldest of 8 daughters and grew up in a Jewish-Orthodox family in modest circumstances.


After an intermediate station in Vienna, where she worked in the fur business of her aunt and collected first ideas for her later career, she emigrated to Australia and worked as a child girl. Soon she began to expel imported creams from Poland and founded the first beauty salon. In order to develop her own products, she handed over the business to two of her sisters and went to Paris. In 1912 Helena Rubinstein invented the first system for the detection of skin types, followed by foundations of beauty salons in Paris and London. In 1914, the now married Helena Rubinstein emigrated to the United States with her husband and two children and pushed the development of her own cosmetic line, which also took its name from the 1920s onwards. Her company grew rapidly: until her death in 1965, her company had 100 branches in 14 countries with about 30,000 employees. It had more than $ 100 million of private assets. Rubinstein was a sponsor of the arts and sciences. Among other things, she set up a fund to support art students and had a modern art museum, the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion, built in Tel Aviv. At the University of Massachusetts, she set up a chair for chemistry, and in 1953 founded the Helena Rubinstein Foundation, which still promotes female scientists. 

Curator: Iris Meder 
Coordination: Danielle Spera and Werner Hanak-Lettner 
Collaboration: Denise Landau and Dominik Cobanoglu


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