- 06 November 1916
- Media category
- Materials used
- handwritten letter in black ink on discoloured white paper: 2 sheets, 4 leaves, 6 pages
- 21.0 x 26.8 cm sheet; 21.0 x 13.4 cm page
- Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, ink 'Dora Ohlfsen' last page. Dated u.l. corner, ink 'Nov. 6 1916' first page.
- Art Gallery of New South Wales Institutional archive
- Not on display
- Accession number
- Artist information
Works in the collection
My dear Mann,
I wrote you some weeks ago from Umbria telling you Mr Holman’s medallion was on the way and asking you to pay the cheque over to my sister’s account. Sir William Cullen’s (?) medallion and that of Sir James Fairfax are also on the way and I have written telling them that you will make the necessary declaration to the effect that the originals were executed in Sydney and the bronze casts, therefore, are merely copies. The first bronzes which were sent in 1914 just as war broke out were lost. They will probably return to me some day. I do hope that these arrive safely.
By the way, I have been studying the effect and I consider that those two end panels should be used for decorative purposes and not for heads of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. In the first place those two enormous heads in relief will kill the importance of the horses on the principal panel. Secondly they are in themselves an anachronism as they neither go with the epoch nor the Grecian style of the facade and have nothing whatever to do with the chariot race. I propose to do something allegorical and classical in keeping with the rest of the ‘ensemble’. For instance, the awarding of the prize to the victor on one and a triumphal [a fragment that is to say] procession on the other. It is better to have it I’m sure. It is all the more trouble for me as the studies for the two heads were finished long ago, but they don’t fit in at all with the rest. In fact they spoilt the entire effect. I have been very lucky in my models for the charioteers. One, as I told you before, is a famous boxer and athlete in general and the one I am working with now is a young god, also a well known athlete (in convalescence–returned wounded from the front). I am just completing a medal dedicated to the Australians fallen in Gallipoli—however, it could be dedicated to those fallen in this war in general. If it should be put to any use by the Government I should like half of the proceeds to go the mutilated. I have made ‘Australia’ and her son very young—representing as they do the youngest country and the youngest army. On the reverse is the typical Anzac. Art is in a very bad way, I am afraid that I forsee the day when I shall have to shut up my studio and leave for the Front in the English Ambulance for which I am also diplomarised. Please write at once about the two end panels, as I must get through as quick as possible. I have done a large head of ‘Australia’ which was to have been a study for the statue Mr Carmichael used to cart about. Hoping soon the hear from you. Dora Ohflsen, always given in friendliest remembrance.
Shown in 1 exhibition
Dora Ohlfsen and the facade commission, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Oct 2019–08 Mar 2020
Other works by Dora Ohlfsen
See all 40 works