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Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information

Dora Ohlfsen and the facade commission

Dora Ohlfsen The awakening of Australian art 1907, bronze medallions. Art Gallery of New South Wales. Purchased 1910; Images of plaster cast of Greek chariot race by Dora Ohlfsen from the Dora Ohlfsen archive c1918, 4 gelatin silver photographs. National Art Archive, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Discover the story behind the Gallery’s unfinished front facade

At the start of the 20th century Dora Ohlfsen, an Australian living in Rome, was one of the world’s most highly regarded sculptors and designers of medals and medallions. In 1913, she was asked to submit designs for a bronze panel at the entrance of the Art Gallery of NSW. While her designs were approved and the commission progressed, in 1919 her chariot race sculpture was cancelled.

This exhibition unpacks the 100-year-old story, bringing together work by Ohlfsen with proposals from six contemporary artists for a possible new commission above the front doors of the Gallery.

Discover the stories behind the art.