We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 We’re open again. Read about our COVID-safe plans and how you can visit.

Title

Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann

09 January 1917

Artist

Dora Ohlfsen

Australia

22 Aug 1869 – 07 Feb 1948

Artist profile

Alternate image of Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann by Dora Ohlfsen
Alternate image of Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann by Dora Ohlfsen
Alternate image of Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann by Dora Ohlfsen
Alternate image of Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann by Dora Ohlfsen
Alternate image of Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann by Dora Ohlfsen
Alternate image of Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann by Dora Ohlfsen
Alternate image of Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann by Dora Ohlfsen
Alternate image of Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann by Dora Ohlfsen
Alternate image of Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann by Dora Ohlfsen
Alternate image of Letter from Dora Ohlfsen to Gother Mann by Dora Ohlfsen
  • Details

    Date
    09 January 1917
    Media category
    Correspondence
    Materials used
    handwritten letter in black ink on discoloured white paper: 3 sheets, 6 leaves, 12 pages
    Dimensions
    21.0 x 26.3 cm sheet; 21.0 x 13.3 cm page
    Signature & date

    Signed bot. c., ink 'Dora Ohlfsen' last page. Dated u.l.corner, ink '9 Jan. 1917' first page.

    Credit
    Art Gallery of New South Wales Institutional archive
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    ARC1.61.38076
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Dora Ohlfsen

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection

    39

    Share
  • About

    Dear Mr Mann,
    I have just received your letter of Nov. 27 (at least I read it 27th, it may be 7th) with the three enclosures of Sept. 29 1915, March 7 1916 and March 28 1916), all of which I answered at the time and are entered in my diary. I did not receive any letter telling me that Mr Archibald had gone back on his intention of buying (?) Mr Holman’s medallion, otherwise I should certainly not have gone to the expense of having it cast in bronze in Paris in these exceedingly hard times firstly, and secondly it was never my intention to have it reproduced in the original size as I was going to have it reduced. A plaster cast as it was exhibited in Paris in the Salon of 1914. I was not able to get it cast in bronze at once and I was notified from Paris that it could not be done for a couple of months (this was in 1914 when I received your letter telling me Mr Archibald was going to buy it), owing to pressure of work and scarcity by workmen owing to military service etc. This was just before the war broke out. The came the war. Several medallions which were sent to Sydney in 1914 got lost and I was only able to get them done again this year, that is the summer of 1916. Do please see Mr Archibald and get him to reconsider the matter. I have written to you at least four times telling you I received the photograph of the panel which you returned to me with suggested alterations on the margins and which I have carried out. I am certainly not going to have the panel cast in bronze until the money is in the bank with which to pay the founder so please set the minds of the trustees at rest on that point. My dear friend, does anybody really imagine that I have sums of money lying about in war time to spend like that on my own account? I am not Mackennal at whose feet Australia pours mines of liquid gold. Consequently I would not dream of ordering the bronze cast until the money is there as the founders do not wait for their money. They ask to be paid at once always. Perhaps you would prefer to see to that part of it yourself when you return to Europe. One half of the panel is cast (in plaster of course) the other half will be cast in four weeks time. All alterations suggested, as I have said already, have been carried out. Naturally, once in plaster I cannot make any more changes. By the way, how many photographs did Countess Gleichen send out of that amateur abortion of hers which adorns the walls of the art gallery? You have not answered me as to my suggestions for the two end panels of one yard square. As I pointed out in a previous letter two large heads of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci would be anachronisms as they don’t belong to the Greek epoch of the panel. (It is a Greek chariot race, there being three horses to each chariot. The Romans drove two or four horses, besides the building itself is in Greek style, so the panel is in strict keeping) I suggested the end panels should agree with the center panel. On thinking it over, I decided they should be a sort of continuance of the Olympic games at which the chariot race forms the principal part. I think on one might be a disc-thrower and on the other a ring-thrower. Two single figures therefore. The simpler the more to be seen, seeing the height at which they are to be placed. Groups of figures would be quite lost. As also two huge faces would destroy the effect of the horses. What I suggested in my previous letter on the subject would not be suitable owing as I said to the great height from the ground. Please let me know at once your opinion, as I must get them done. It is in my interest, as you will understand, to finish as soon as possible in case of my sudden death which has been foretold me by a famous fortune teller. All my best wishes for this year. Take care of yourself. Have you any news of Mr Carmichael? We are having a damp sad Winter but by the time you get this the first green buds will have appeared on the willows. Our darling boys in France feel the cold dreadfully I hear. I am doing a series of medals on my own account to commemorate the war. One for ‘Anzac’ which is finished, one for the Italians, one for the artists of the French Academy (Villa Medici) in Rome and one for the Russian Cavalry. Many remembrances and greetings. Dora Ohlfsen'

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Dora Ohlfsen

See all 39 works