Around 1896 Dora Ohlfsen relocated to St Petersburg, Russia from Germany. Abandoning her dreams of becoming a concert pianist, she noted at this time "I think I did everything under the sun. I taught, I coached students for the Conservatorium, I did journalistic work for the American Consul-General, I did anything that offered". It was in Russia that she began making art. Just prior to moving to St Petersburg, Ohlfsen had met the Russian aristocrat Elena von Kugelgen, who became her life-long partner. After spending 6 years in St Petersburg, Ohflsen and von Kugelgen moved to Rome, to escape the increasingly delicate political situation and for Ohlfsen to pursue her career as a sculptor.
gelatin silver photograph
7.8 x 7.8 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
National Art Archive. Gift of Dora Stanford 1995
Not on display
Shown in 1 exhibition
Dora Ohlfsen and the facade commission, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Oct 2019–08 Mar 2020
Referenced in 1 publication
Steven Miller and Eileen Chanin, Awakening, Adelaide, 2015, plate 3. illustrated (detail)